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18/11/2020

OPEN BRANCHES: 22 of our branches and the Bookmobile are currently open for modified services at this time.

Additional branches will reopen for contactless returns and holds pickup in the fall and early winter. Details: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/blogs/updates-new-branch-reopening-dates

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How to Pronounce Knife wins the Giller!

10/11/2020

Souvankham Thammavongsa won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller for her book of short stories How to Pronounce Knife.  In a virtual ceremony last night, the Giller Award was delivered to the winner at her home and captured on national television.  Her acceptance speech was beautiful and thoughtfully composed: she alluded to the title of her book with this personal story: "Thirty six years ago I went to school and I pronounced the word knife wrong and I didn't get a prize," she said referencing her early education in ESL classes. "But tonight there is one." 

Thammavongsa has also won acclaim for her 4 books of poetry, and by being reviewed favourably for her first adventure in fiction in the New York Times.  Born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand, she was raised and now lives in Toronto.  The Giller jury wrote: "These stories are vessels of hope, of hurt, of rejection, of loss and of finding one's footing in a new and strange land.  Thammavongsa's fiction cuts to the core of the immigrant reality like a knife - however you pronounce it".

Congratulations Souvankham Thammavongsa!

Image: How to Pronounce Knife

How to Pronounce Knife

Stories
By Thammavongsa, Souvankham