Dynamic Canadian Author wins Prestigious National Award for non-fiction

Canadian author wins award for non-fiction account of family’s World War II experiences.
letters from the lost
letters from the lost
Sept. 13, 2011 - PRLog -- Vancouver B.C: Vancouver author Helen Waldstein Wilkes is this year’s recipient of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. The award is bestowed by Wilfred Laurier University and it includes a $10,000 prize to honour original research combined with compelling interpretive writing.

Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery is a Canadian immigration story that reflects the author’s personal history as a child who escaped Europe in 1939. The book stems from Wilkes’ discovery of a box of letters documenting the experience of her extended family in Canada and in Europe as World War II erupted. The letters led Wilkes to an exploration of her own cultural heritage and of the social and political significance of that era. The result is a dynamic narrative that interweaves the poignant words of her family members with a critical analysis of the events that shaped their fate.

“It is such an honour to have my name included among the list of Edna Staebler Award recipients,” says Wilkes, “but I’m humbled by the fact that this book would not exist were it not for the harrowing experiences of my family.  Above all, this award honours the memory of those who wrote the letters that inspired the book.”

Speaking on behalf of this year’s award jury, Laurier associate professor Tanis MacDonald said, “Letters from the Lost is a ‘memoir of discovery’ as its subtitle promises, and it is also a memoir about the pain of knowing some stories can never be fully discovered. It is a testament that ranges across continents and decades to affirm what one family lost to atrocity and what the survivor in Waldstein Wilkes finds in her family, past and present.”
The award ceremony will take place October 4, 2011 in Waterloo, Ontario, followed by book readings in Brantford and Toronto. Published by Athabasca University Press, Letters from the Lost also received the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award earlier this year.
For more information about Helen and her book visit: http://www.lettersfromthelost.com/


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