Winlaw author Tom Wayman has won the Diamond Foundation Prize for fiction for his book, The Shadows We Mistake for Love. The award was announced Sunday in Vancouver as part of the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards and Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival.
The awards are designed to celebrate excellence in writing on Jewish themes and subjects, showcase the achievements of authors who reside in Western Canada and recognize the writers’ contributions to Jewish culture.
The Shadows We Mistake for Love is a diverse collection of short stories set in the West Kootenay. Slocan Valley residents are tied together by magical and dramatic geography, but also by an intricate web of shared history, common needs and the deep and complex relationships that evolve in isolated locations, where everyone is visible and there is no anonymity. The collection brings together loggers and environmentalists, marijuana growers and small-town lawyers, back-country skiers and homesteaders, to overlap and coalesce into a brilliant portrait of rural life and place.
A multiple award-winning author, Wayman has published three books of fiction, as well as more than a dozen collections of poems, six poetry anthologies and three collections of essays. His previous short story collection, Boundary Country was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed award.
His poetry has been awarded the Canadian Authors’ Association medal for poetry, the A.J.M. Smith Prize, first prize in the USA Bicentennial Poetry Awards competition and the Acorn-Plantos Award; in 2003 he was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He has taught widely at the post-secondary level in Canada and the US, most recently (2002-10) at the University of Calgary. He has lived in West Kootenay since 1989.