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Bruce Serafin's Stardust wins Edna Staebler Award for 2008

Late writer/editor is first posthumous winner of prestigious non-fiction prize

2009.03.20 — Stardust by Bruce Serafin has been selected as the winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for 2008. This is the first time that the prize, given annually for a Canadian writer's first or second book, was awarded posthumously.

"This eclectic collection of essays, ranging from the literary to the personal to the contemplative, never ceases to inform with the understated rhetoric of a natural teacher and an astute observer," said Tanis MacDonald, a member of this year's jury and English professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. "Serafin's narrative voice has the quiet confidence and an analytical acumen of someone who respects the effort of writing and the value of storytelling.

The award will be presented to Bruce's wife Sharon Esson at a special celebration at 7 pm, Friday, April 24, at Pulpfiction Books, 2422 Main Street.

Serafin, who died in 2007 just as Stardust was going to press, was founding editor of Vancouver Review and author of one other book, Colin's Big Thing (2004). At the time of his death he was at work on a longer book, tentatively entitled A Way In the West. Bruce's wife Sharon Esson says the $10,000 prize will be used to prepare that final book for publication.

The other jurors were Russell Smith and Arlene Perly Rae. Other finalists for this year's award were Baptism by Fire by Nathan M. Greenfield, French Kiss by Chantal Hebert, and The Red Wall by Jane Hall. Previous winners of the Edna Staebler Award include Taras Grescoe, Wayson Choy, Denise Chong, and Elizabeth Hay, whose 1993 book Captivity Tales was published by New Star Books.