Winners of the 2014 Helen and Stan Vine Jewish Book Awards Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (May 8, 2014) – A wide range of Jewish themes and subjects – from the Holocaust, trauma and memory, to Yiddish, American Jewish culture and history, and life in the diaspora – are featured in the winners of the 2014 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards. This year’s jury selected nine titles in the categories of Holocaust, Fiction, Yiddish, Jewish Thought and Culture, Poetry, Scholarship, Biography/Memoir, Youth, and History. The awards will be presented in a public ceremony on Tuesday, May 27, 8 PM at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. This year’s awards will be hosted by former President and Publisher of Penguin Canada, Cynthia Good.

Ken Setterington’s Branded by the Pink Triangle, about the moving and under-told history of the persecution of gays by the Nazis during the Second World War has won in the Holocaust category. Although the most prominent and numerous victims of Hitler’s virulent hatred, Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust. The mentally and physically challenged, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Scinti and Roma, and gays – especially men – were also persecuted by the Nazis and marked for extermination. Through historical documentation and vivid personal stories of survivors, Setterington brings to life the origin of the “pink triangle” – sewn onto the prison uniforms of homosexual men in concentration camps – and since that time a symbol for LGBT rights worldwide.

The Jury praised Setterington for his readable history that provides a redress of this great injustice. Branded by the Pink Triangle was also the winner of the 2014 Stonewall Honor Books in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Setterington lives in Toronto.

Winnipeg-based children’s writer Carol Matas has won the Youth category for Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz (Dear Canada), a coming-of-age story about life in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after the Holocaust.

This year’s distinguished Jury is comprised of writers, academics, editors and experts in the literary field, and includes Barbara Berson (chair), Adam Fuerstenberg, Judith Ghert, Alain Goldschläger, Sara R. Horowitz, Carla Lancit, Michael Posner, Judy Stoffman, and Edward Trapunski.

The Awards ceremony takes place in Toronto on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 8 PM at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. The Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards is part of the Toronto Jewish Literary Festival.

Winning authors will be available for a book-signing after the ceremony. The award-winning titles will also be available for purchase.

Jury citations, full details on the event and the winners are available at kofflerarts.org.

Interviews with Jury Chair Barbara Berson and/or any of the winning authors can be arranged through the Koffler Centre of the Arts. Media contact information is below.

About the Koffler Centre of the Arts
The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a multidisciplinary arts organization and independent not-for-profit whose Jewish roots serve as a springboard for ideas. The Koffler engages a contemporary dialogue through the arts that has local, national and international resonance.

The Koffler programs around the City of Toronto at several locations. Koffler Gallery exhibitions and related programs and the Koffler’s administrative offices are based at Artscape Youngplace, in the vibrant downtown West Queen West art and design district. Koffler visual art and ceramic classes for all ages are held at the Prosserman JCC on Sherman Campus. Koffler multidisciplinary programs take place across the GTA at various venues.

Koffler Centre of the Arts acknowledges the support of the Koffler Foundation, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Cultural Season Sponsor CIBC Wood Gundy, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council through the Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Organizations Program, Artscape, our patrons and members.

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Tony Hewer, Director of Marketing & Communications
Koffler Centre of the Arts | Koffler Gallery
180 Shaw Street, Suite 104-105, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
647.925.0643 x224 | thewer@kofflerarts.org