Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hill's The Book of Negroes takes Canada Reads title

Canadian author Lawrence Hill has won yet another accolade for his much-celebrated novel The Book of Negroes, which on Friday was named the winner in CBC's annual Canada Reads competition.

The Book of Negroes, which recounts the tale of Aminata Diallo's journey from enslavement in Africa and North America to liberation and return home, was championed during the week-long competition by journalist Avi Lewis.

Hailing the book "a riveting historical tale," Lewis said The Book of Negroes is "much more than that. It's a soaring literary accomplishment — a book in which the pages seem to turn themselves. I'm delighted that the other panellists embraced this work and that many more Canadians will now share in its richness."

"I'm feeling humbled," Lewis admitted shortly after The Book of Negroes knocked out its final competitor: Fruit, a gay coming-of-age story by Brian Francis and championed by Vancouver author Jen Sookfong Lee.

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