It has been an exceptionally good week for Two Generals.
Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading White Pine Award for Non-Fiction. The White Pine award is for high school-aged readers, which fits nicely with the fact that Two Generals is now being used in some Ontario high schools as part of the curriculum. Readers of the appropriate age are encouraged to read the books and vote, with the winners announced next spring at festivals in Ottawa, Toronto, and Thunder Bay. It's a big deal, gets young people reading lots, and who doesn't love libraries? So thanks to the OLA for the nomination. Happy to be a part of it.
Top 40 for the 2012 edition of Canada Reads, the CBC's annual "battle of the books" that unfolds on radio and TV, which for the first time (conveniently for Two Generals) is focusing on non-fiction. I was flattered when it began turning up among early recommendations and polls, and am thrilled to have even made the long list.
Jeff Lemire's excellent graphic novel Essex County among the Top 5 for best Canadian novel of the decade proved to be somewhat controversial, so I was also happy to see that Canada Reads wasn't steering away from comics-based works this year. In fact, there are no less than THREE graphic novels in the Top 40: mine, Sarah Leavitt's Tangles, and Chester Brown's Louis Riel. Even if none of us go further (though my money's on Riel making the Top 5), this is a very good thing for comics. That said, I'd be over the moon if the book made the Top 10...so please go to the voting page before October 30th and cast a vote for me and Two Generals, won't you?
Often in the past when trying to explain the sophistication of comics storytelling to people who clung to old stereotypes, myself and others would point out the number of comics works that had been nominated for and/or won mainstream literary prizes (Maus and the Pulitzer, Jimmy Corrigan and the Guardian Prize, Sandman and the World Fantasy Award, etc.) In none of even my most ambitious dreams, however, did I think I'd ever be among those lucky few. I'm not sure the word "honoured" even begins to describe it. HUGE thanks to everyone who made both nominations possible.