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School of Continuing Studies | University of Toronto

Marina Nemat Award Winners Announced


Photo credit: Stuart Lowe

June 7, 2012 – For the first time since the Marina Nemat Award was established in 2009, a heated debate amongst the jurors – Diane Turbide, Publishing Director at Penguin Group Canada; Mark Medley, Books Editor, National Post; and Melanie Little, Senior Editor, House of Anansi Press – resulted in the decision to award not one but two works of fiction.

The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies is pleased to announce and congratulate the 2012 winners: Ann Choi for Cornered and Sabrina Ramnanan for Behind God’s Back. At a celebratory reception on June 6th, Choi and Ramnanan each received a $1000 cash prize. The award recognized the top final project submitted by a graduating Creative Writing Certificate student in the past year.

“Sabrina Ramnanan certainly proves herself as an exciting new writer to watch” says juror Melanie Little. “In Behind God’s Back, Ramnanan creates a winning and memorable cast of characters who bring Trinidad to vivid life with their foibles, their passions, and their intrigues. She displays a deeply impressive storytelling instinct, and her prose is full of verve and wry wit.”

Juror Mark Medley says Ann Choi’s Cornered is “an intelligent – and often brave – coming-of-age story” set in-and-around Toronto’s Korean community in the mid-1980s. “An emerging author who writes like she’s been doing it her whole life, it’s doubtless we’ll be reading more of Choi in the future.”

The Marina Nemat Award is made possible thanks in part to the generosity of writer and Creative Writing Certificate Graduate, Marina Nemat. Her final project, the international best-selling memoir Prisoner of Tehran, has now been published in 28 countries. She has since authored the follow-up memoir After Tehran.