Author Ian Brown Wins $20,000 Literary Prize

Ian Brown’s moving memoir The Boy in the Moon has won the 23rd annual Trillium Book Award in English-Language, Ontario’s top prize for literary excellence.

The book tells the story of his special needs son, Walker, who was born with a rare genetic mutation. While thanking his wife and publishers during his acceptance speech, Brown also thanked the book’s readers, “for being willing and open to see a story where at first there may seem not to be one.”

Brown said he was alternating between feeling poleaxed and thrilled over the win, considering the list of writers his name would be added to. Previous winners have included world-renowned authors such as Michael Ondaatje, Wayson Choy, Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood – the latter two also being on this year’s short list.

The winner of the Trillium Award for the best book in French was Ryad Assani-Razaki for Deux Cercles, his debut short story collection that explores his experiences with immigration and alienation. In his emotional acceptance speech, he talked of how this win validated his decision to share such personal words.

Karen Solie, who won the Griffin Poetry Prize earlier this month for Pigeon, was named the winner for poetry in English, while Michèle Matteau was the winner for poetry in French, with her first collection, Passerelles.