Arts & Entertainment
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Lesbian author scoops top prize at Ottawa Book Awards

Girl Unwrapped honoured in English fiction category

Gabriella Goliger, the author of Girl Unwrapped, which won the English fiction category at the Ottawa Book Awards. Credit: Rob d'Estrube

On Oct 27, Gabriella Goliger took the top prize for her novel Girl Unwrapped at the Ottawa Book Awards, held at the Library and Archives Canada.

The awards honour the best English and French books written in 2010 by people living in Ottawa.

“I am thrilled, bowled over, pinching myself still. It’s such an honour,” writes Goliger in an email. “I’m also delighted that a book with a lesbian theme won this prestigious award. I hope that in its own small way Girl Unwrapped helps promote understanding about GLBT youth issues. The novel is about a lesbian growing up in the 1960s: a different world, and yet some of the struggles endure.”

Goliger says she is proud of the City of Ottawa for its support of writers. The book awards come with cash prizes of $7,500 for each of the winners and $1,000 for each finalist.

“That’s generous for this era of belt-tightening and a real vote of confidence in the importance of the arts to the city, ” Goliger writes.

In 2001, her first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer’s Craft Award. She is currently working on her third novel, about a Jewish girl who has a love affair with a British policeman in Palestine during the 1930s and ’40s.