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Ottawa Book Awards winners announced

The winners of this year’s Ottawa Book Awards were announced Tuesday evening at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

The awards recognize the top books in English and French published by Ottawa writers over the past year. Each winner is awarded $7,500, with shortlisted authors receiving $1,000.

Maclean’s Magazine foreign correspondent Michael Petrou won in the English-language non-fiction category for Is This Your First War? Travels Through the Post-9/11 Islamic World (Dundurn Press), which documents his repeated journeys in the Middle East. In a statement about the book, the jury said that “head, heart, and spirit blend powerfully in this chronicle of a stranger in an alien land seething with ancient and modern loyalties and hatreds.”

The English-language fiction award went to Missy Marston for her novel, The Love Monster (Esplanade Books), which follows protagonist Margaret H. Atwood as she comes to terms with middle age. The jury called the book “a modern fairy tale and a zoned out fantasy in one satisfying confection.”

The deadline for submissions for next year’s awards is Jan. 6.