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Poirier-Bures wins prize for memoir

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 07 - October 10, 1996

The directors of the Richardson Trust and the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia have announced that Simone Poirier-Bures's memoir That Shining Place has won the Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Award.

Poirier-Bures teaches writing in the English department. That Shining Place is "the luminous memoir of a winter sojourn in Crete during the winter of 1966-67 when the 21-year-old Simone Poirier made her way from Halifax to Greece in search of freedom and to rid herself of the encumbrance of things and of daily comforts...the past and its enclosures,'" according to the news release from the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia.

In the book, Poirier-Bures "juxtapos{es} the young woman's perceptions of the world with those of her more mature persona revisiting the island 25 years later," the release said, and that juxtaposition "creates the most extraordinary layering of points of view. In the contrast of recollections, she achieves a profound sense of reconciliation."

Poirier-Bures's first book was Candyman, a novel set during the '50s in Halifax where she was born and raised. Her fiction and prose have been published in many North American literary journals and in five anthologies, including Bless Me Father and Mother of the Groom.

The Richardson Award honors the memory of Shelbourne County native Evelyn Richardson. Richardson's book We Keep a Light, which recounted her life as lighthouse keeper's wife on Bon Portage, won the Governor General's Award 50 years ago and has recently been re-released as part of Numbus Publishing's Classic Series.

Now in its 19th year, the Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Award of $1,000 is funded through contributions from Nova Scotia's writers. Previous winners include Harry Bruce, Alden Nowlan, and Elizabeth Pacey.