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Jack Hodgins, Kristi Bridgeman win Victoria Book Prize

The Victoria Book Prize Society announced author Jack Hodgins and illustrator Kristi Bridgeman as the winners of the 2011 Victoria Book Prize Awards at a gala on Wednesday evening.

Victoria mayor Dean Fortin and Brian H. Butler presented Hodgins with the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for his novel The Master of Happy Endings (Thomas Allen Publishers), deemed “the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of fiction, literary non-fiction, and poetry.”

In its decision, the jury “ writer Theresa Kishkan, bookseller Cathy Sorensen, and librarian Avi Silberstein “ applauded The Master of Happy Endings as “an exuberant novel about the power of narrative to serve as a compass for human odysseys” and praised Hodgins’ “literary skill in service to his rich imagination.

Samantha Holmes, owner and general manager of Bolen Books, presented Bridgeman with the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for her illustrated work in Uirapurú (Oolichan Books), with text by P.K. Page. The jury “ librarian Tracy Kendrick, writer Barbara Nickel, and bookseller Pat Oldroyd “ describes Bridgeman’s illustrations as “so richly layered and complex, so warm with colour, humour, and detail.”

Carla Funk, Stephen Hume, Sylvia Olsen, and John Schreiber were also nominated for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize; Sarah N. Harvey and Arthur John Stewart were finalists for the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.