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Thursday, March 2, 2017

André Alexis Wins One of World's Richest Literary Prizes


It has been announced that André Alexis has won one of the Windham-Campbell Prizes administered by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.  Each of the eight winners will receive $165,000 (USD), or approximately $215,000 (CAN).

The Prizes were established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of forty years, Sandy M. Campbell.  English language writers from anywhere in the world are eligible; prize recipients are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously.  Winners are recognized not for a single book but their body of work. This year’s recipients of one of the world’s richest literature prizes for the first time include poets, alongside writers of fiction, nonfiction, and drama (http://windhamcampbell.org/). 

Alexis is known for his 2015 novel Fifteen Dogs, which won both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.  It is also one of the contenders on this year’s Canada Reads (March 27 – 30, 2017).  His latest novel, published this past fall, is The Hidden Keys.

The judges commented that “Across all genres, [Alexis] works in astonishingly clear, supple prose that propels readers through the complex philosophical questions—How does an awareness of mortality shape consciousness? What is the relationship, if any, between love and reason?—that have pre-occupied him through two decades of work. . . . Alexis has time and again proven himself to be a provocative and modern thinker; his work feels ever current, even as it delivers all the humor and warmth of a well-told tale” (http://windhamcampbell.org/2017/winner/andr%C3%A9-alexis).