Winner! 2006 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence was established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the Province. As the inaugural winner, P. K. Page was selected by an independent jury consisting of three prominent figures from the British Columbia literary community. This year the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence is awarded to Jack Hodgins.
“It was forty years ago that Jack Hodgins started systematically sending stories to magazines. Thirty years ago, ten of those exquisite early stories were collected into a book that remains both an unforgettable portrait of British Columbia life and a literary classic: Spit Delaney’s Island. In novels such as The Invention of the World, The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne (which won him a Governor General’s Award in 1979), The Barclay Family Theatre, The Macken Charm, and Broken Ground, Hodgins has continued deepening and broadening his multivolume, panoramic portrait of Vancouver Island people, dwarfed by their own dreams and extravagant ambitions as much as they are by the trees in the old-growth forests. The marriage, in a single human being, of such acute perception, extravagant imagination, and personal reserve makes Jack Hodgins himself as thoroughly unlikely yet as absolutely real as any of his characters. And no writer has done more than he to give British Columbia a place on the literary map of North America.”
— Jury member Robert Bringhurst
Jack Hodgins was born in Comox in 1938, and raised in the logging community of Merville. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, he moved to Nanaimo, where he taught high school English until 1979. He has been a writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University and the University of Ottawa, and taught fiction workshops at the University of Victoria from 1983 to 2002. He most recently taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He lives in Cadboro Bay, Victoria, with his wife Dianne.
By any standards, the literary career of Jack Hodgins has been spectacular. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled Spit Delaney’s Island, was nominated for the 1976 Governor General’s Award. A year later, his first novel, The Invention of the World, won the Gibson’s First Novel Award.
Since that time, the author has written many books, including one for children, Left Behind in Squabble Bay, and a guide to fiction writing, A Passion for Narrative. He has read from his work in countries as distant as Japan and Australia, and his list of awards is extraordinary, including the Governor General’s Award (1979), Commonwealth Literary Prize (1988 Regional), Canada-Australia Literary Prize (1986), and Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (1999). He has also received three honorary degrees and been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. This spring, he was also the recipient of the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award for an Outstanding Literary Career in British Columbia.
Jury: Robert Bringhurst, Thora Howell and Hal Wake