Media Release

Vassanji, Clarke among 2004 nominees in 20th year of Canada's only literary awards program for audio and braille books

June 8, Toronto: The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) today announced the nominees for its 20th annual Torgi Literary Awards, recognizing books that have been written, published, and produced with excellence for adults and children who are blind or visually impaired. The nominees include The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M.G. Vassanji, The Polished Hoe by Austin Clarke, The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy, Exile by Ann Ireland, and The Ability to Forget by Norman Levine.

"As readers' choice awards go, the Torgi Literary Awards are quite unique," says Margaret McGrory, executive director of the CNIB Library. "They call attention to the passion our clients have for high-quality literature.  Reading and literacy are a basic right, yet less than 5% of books in Canada make it into a format that someone who is blind or visually impaired can read, such as braille or audio."

The awards are named after Morley Torgov, who won the first award in 1984.  Juries of CNIB Library clients determine Torgi winners in six categories each year. This year's awards will be presented in September at the CNIB's new headquarters in Toronto.

The complete list of nominees is:

CNIB-Produced Fiction

Exile: A Novel, by Ann Ireland, narrated by Bruce Roney, Dundurn Press, 2002
The Polished Hoe, by Austin Clarke, narrated by Sondra Bolton, Thomas Allen Publishers, 2002
The Romantic, by Barbara Gowdy, narrated by Gina Clayton, HarperCollins Canada, Ltd., 2003
The Ability to Forget, by Norman Levine, narrated by William Mackenzie, Key Porter Books, 2002
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, by M.G. Vassanji, narrated by Phiroze Dotiwalla, Doubleday Canada (Random House), 2003

CNIB-Produced Non-Fiction

Shakespeare's Face, by Stephanie Nolen, narrated by William Mackenzie, Knopf Canada (Random House), 2002
Into the Blue, by Andrea Curtis, narrated by Sondra Bolton, Random House Canada, 2003
Houseboat Chronicles: Notes From a Life In Shield Country, by Jake MacDonald, narrated by David Mills, McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 2002
Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War, by Stephen Kimber, narrated by David Mills, Doubleday Canada (Random House), 2002
The Voice Gallery: Travels with a Glass Throat, by Keath Fraser, narrated by Desmond Scott, Thomas Allen Publishers, 2002

Tiny Torgi Audio

Parvana's Journey, by Deborah Ellis, narrated by Patricia Reid, Groundwood Books, 2002
Newton and the Giant, by Michael McGowan, narrated by Alex MacDonald, HarperCollins Canada, Ltd., 2003
Albert Einstein: A Life of Genius, by Elizabeth MacLeod, narrated by Deryk Sparks, Kids Can Press, 2003
Alone in an Untamed Land: The Filles du Roi Diary of Hélène St. Onge, by Maxine Trottier, narrated by Adrienne Blair, Scholastic Canada Ltd., 2003
Run, by Eric Walters, narrated by Michael Agostini, Penguin Canada, 2003

Tiny Torgi PrintBraille

Good Morning Sam, by Marie-Louise Gay, Groundwood Books, 2003
Quackadack Duck, by Allen Morgan, Annick Press, 2003
Old Bird, by Irene Morck, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2003
Jillian Jiggs and the Great Big Snow, by Phoebe Gilman, Scholastic Canada Ltd., 2002
Stanley's Party, by Linda Bailey, Kids Can Press, 2003

Partner-Produced Fiction

The Master of Rain, by Tom Bradby, narrated by William Samples, Doubleday (Random House), 2002, produced by the British Columbia Library Services Branch
The Cadence of Grass, by Thomas McGuane, narrated by Richard Nazarewich, New York: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), 2002, produced by Public Library InterLINK
Buddha Da, by Anne Donovan, narrated by Sally Armstrong, Canongate, 2003, produced by the Royal National Institute for the Blind
Testament, by Nino Ricci, narrated by David Glyn-Jones, Doubleday Canada (Random House), 2002, produced by the British Columbia Library Services Branch
Casino & Other Stories, by Bonnie Burnard, narrated by Trish Grainge, HarperCollins Canada, Ltd., 2000, produced by the British Columbia Library Services Branch

Partner-Produced Non-Fiction

Lucky Man: A Memoir, by Michael J. Fox, narrated by Bryon Johnsen, Hyperion, 2002, produced by the British Columbia Library Services Branch
Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! by Michael Moore, narrated by Jeff Harding, HarperCollins (Regan Books), 2002, produced by the Royal National Institute for the Blind
Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir, by Bob Smith, narrated by William Samples, New York: Scribner, 2003, produced by the British Columbia Library Services Branch
The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family, by Mary S. Lovell, narrated by Lisette Lecat, W.W. Norton & Company, 2002, produced by Library of Congress, NLS/BPH, American Foundation for the Blind
Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid, narrated by Butch Hoover, Yale University Press, 2002, produced by Library of Congress, NLS/BPH, American Printing House for the Blind

Since 1906, the CNIB Library for the Blind has been working to promote literacy and to ensure that Canadians who are blind, visually impaired, or deafblind have equitable access to information, culture, and lifelong learning. The CNIB Library is one of the largest producers of alternative-format materials in the world.


For more information, please contact:

Matt Ferguson
Coordinator, Library Communications
CNIB Library for the Blind
(416) 480-7423