Tea Mutonji wins the Trillium Book Award
We are thrilled to announce that Téa Mutonji has won the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for her debut story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty, the top prizefor literature in Ontario.
The award was announced June 17, 2020 during an online ceremony broadcast live on Facebook (which you can watch here).
Shut Up You’re Pretty was the first title published under Vivek Shraya’s imprint VS. Books, dedicated to new and emerging writers from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. The book won the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction from the Publishing Triangle in the US in April, and last year was a finalist for the Writers' Trust of Canada Fiction Prize.
"I'm not often speechless but I can't find the words to express my gratitude,” Téa says. "This means everything to me, and to my family. I feel so fortunate and privilege to have gotten to work with the people I did. I really just want to hug my parents. Thank you, thank you!"
For VS. Books editor Vivek Shraya, the award is an acknowledgment of the reasons of why she started the imprint: "This is a giant victory for Tea as an emerging writer, and for her debut book that she tirelessly worked on. I am also grateful to the jury selecting a book published by a brand new imprint and an indie press. My vision for VS. Books was to provide not only mentorship but also to support building a solid foundation for an emerging BIPOC writer to grow a lifelong literary career. Recognition like the Trilliam Book Award helps to realize this goal."
"We are so happy that a book like Shut Up You’re Pretty has won the Trillum,” Arsenal Pulp Press publisher Brian Lam says. “It’s proof that the change that needs to happen in the Canadian publishing industry is possible."
The next book to be published under the VS. Books imprint is Burning Sugar, a poetry collection by Vancouver writer and activist Cicely Belle Blain, coming in September.