25th Trillium Award

Trillium Testimonial: Don Oravec

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This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Ontario's illustrious Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium. To celebrate this silver milestone, Open Book has asked members of the literary community to tell us what they love about their favourite award-winning Trillium title. If you're looking for a recommended read (or re-read), follow these Trillium Testimonials on Open Book: Ontario from now until the winners of the 2012 award competition are announced. Today, Don Oravec of the Writers' Trust of Canada tells us why he's chosen Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly (Random House Canada), winner of the 2005 Trillium Book Award.

Open Book:

What do you love about this book?

Don Oravec:

I loved the book for the characters — they were perfectly formed and imagined. Camilla, in my opinion, shone an important and effective literary light on the plight of the "foreigner" in a culture. I will never forget the character of Lily.


When did you first read it?


I first read the book when it arrived on the Writers’ Trust submission shelf. Camilla had been a long-serving member of the Writers’ Trust’s Authors’ Committee so I was eager to read her book. I read it at the cottage in one long, enjoyable, sunny, warm day on the dock.

Born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario, Don is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a split major in English and history. He has worked in the cultural sector for over 25 years, first at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in marketing, customer service and development, then at Tafelmusik, Canada’s Baroque Orchestra, as their first full-time director of development. While at Tafelmusik Don helped the organization establish a one million dollar endowment and increased their corporate and individual donors. Don had the adventure of a lifetime — in 1989 he "retired," packed his bags and moved to Montserrat in the West Indies. He survived Hurricane Hugo, a category five storm, and then in 2004 he sold his home on the island two months before the dormant volcano erupted for the first time in 400 years. Don now safely resides in Toronto with his partner, Jim Harper.

You could be reading your top Trillium titles on a new Kobo eReader! Click here for details on our Trillium 25th Anniversary Contest.

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