Gargoyles Wins 4th Annual Butler Book Prize

VICTORIA, BC – At a literary awards gala last night, Bill Gaston, author of Gargoyles, was named the 2007 winner of the 4th Annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Acting Mayor Chris Coleman and event sponsor, Brian H. Butler, presented Gaston with a $5,000 cheque for his award-winning book of fictional short stories, published by House of Anansi. The City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is presented annually to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of poetry, non-fiction, children’s books, fiction and biography.

Gargoyles, an edgy collection of short stories, employs gargoyles as signposts to represent various extremes of human emotions. The book was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Gaston is the author of several much-praised story collections and novels, including Sex is Red, The Good Body, Mount Appetite and Sointula. His new novel, The Order of Good Cheer, will be published by House of Anansi in fall 2008. Gaston lives with his wife, Dede Crane, and family in Victoria, British Columbia.

Open to the public, the event was held at the Union Club of British Columbia, and featured readings by the five finalists, offering guests the opportunity to meet the writers and have their books autographed. The four other finalists included PK Page, Patricia Young, Terence Young and Mark Zuehlke. The event was emceed by John Gould, a past Giller Prize nominee and current University of Victoria writing instructor.

The independent jury who selected the winner, included Dave Hill, bookseller for Munro’s Books; Jennifer Rowan, children’s librarian for the Greater Victoria Public Library; and George McWhirter, poet, novelist, short story writer, and University of British Columbia Creative Writing department head until his retirement. Previous Victoria Butler Book Prize winners include Mark Zuehlke, Terence Young and Kevin Paterson.

Founded in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies and is sponsored by the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Magnolia Hotel and Spa and the Union Club of British Columbia. The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes the policy and criteria for the prize, appoints the jury and administers the competition.