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This article was published 30/4/2006 (5041 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
David Bergen's Giller Prize-winning novel The Time in Between surprised nobody when it trotted off with the $5,000 McNally Robinson book of the year award and the $3,500 Margaret Laurence award for fiction.
About 300 people gathered at the Fort Garry Hotel to celebrate the awarding of 11 prizes worth $27,000 in the 18th annual literary affair.
"I'd like to thank my mother for giving me weak ankles," said Bergen, 48, who showed up on crutches after hurting his ankle playing basketball.
Bergen won the $40,000 Scotiabank Giller, Canada's glitziest literary prize, last November in Toronto for his spare and erotic story about the ghosts of the Vietnam War. The novel, his fourth, was published last August by Toronto-based McClelland & Stewart.
"Books in general are great," he said. "But I'm a fiction lover and I will continue to do it."
Also finishing strongly last night was The Imagined City: A Literary History of Winnipeg, edited by David Arnason and Mhari Mackintosh.
This landscape-format compilation of excerpts dating back to the early 19th century, published by Turnstone Press, won the $5,000 Carol Shields Winnipeg book award and the $1,000 Mary Scorer award for best book by a Manitoba publisher.
The $3,500 Alexander Kennedy Isbister award for non-fiction went to Peter Kulchyski for Like the Sound of a Drum: Aboriginal Cultural Politics in Denendeh and Nunavut.
In the two McNally Robinson book for young people awards, the prize in the older category went to Breath of the Dragon by Diane Juttner Perreault.
The prize in the younger category was awarded to Camilla Chameleon by Colleen Sydor. Each is worth $2,500.
Poet Lori Cayer won the $2,500 John Hirsch award for most promising Manitoba writer.
Michael Van Rooy's crime thriller An Ordinary Decent Criminal won the $1,500 Eileen McTavish Sykes award for best first book by a Manitoba writer.
The Manuela Dias book design award went to Marcelle Lussier and Anna Binta Diallo for their work on Poste restante: cartes poétiques du Sénégal.
The best illustrated book award went to Faye Hellner, Jason Herzog and the late Henry Kalen for the architectural coffee-table book Étienne Gaboury.
Hometown awards are nothing new for Bergen. His previous novel, The Case of Lena S., won the 2002 Carol Shields book award. His first novel, A Year of Lesser, won the 1996 McNally Robinson book of the year award.
A former high school English teacher, he won the most promising writer award in 1993.