City writer wins $10,000 award

Kathryn Greenway

March 27, 1998; Page D6

Montreal writer and Gazette books columnist Elaine Kalman Naves has won a $10,000 Canadian Literary Award for her essay, Hair. It's a collection of memories of her childhood in Hungary and will be published in the May issue of Saturday Night magazine.

"The award is a wonderful validation of my writing," Naves said in a recent interview. "But winning it is ironic in a way. My book Journey to Vaja (McGill-Queen's University Press) made the QSPELL shortlist last year, and although the reviews were kind, it didn't generate that much attention.

"I poured my heart and soul into that book. And then I write this relatively brief essay, and I win so much money!"

The Canadian Literary Award - the former Tilden Literary Award - is sponsored by CBC, Saturday Night and the Canada Council. Awards are also given for poetry and fiction.

Calgary poet Roberta Rees won for her poem Hoar Frost, and Shauna Singh-Baldwin won for her short story Satya. (Singh-Baldwin was born in Montreal, grew up in India and now lives in Milwaukee.) Rees's poem appears in the April issue of Saturday Night and Singh-Baldwin's Satya will appear in the June issue.

The awards ceremony will take place at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, on April 7. You can hear Singh-Baldwin read Satya during the CBC Radio 2 program Between the Covers, April 13 at 2:40 p.m. and again at 10:43 p.m. Rees will read her poem April 14 and Kalman Naves will read her essay April 15. Same show and same times.