Two Memorial University authors took home Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards on May 15. Dr. Gerhard P. Bassler, professor emeritus of history, won the Roger’s Cable Non-fiction Award for Vikings to U-Boats: The German Experience in Newfoundland and Labrador (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). Dr. Peter Hart, Canada Research Chair in Irish Studies, and Dr. Frederick White, German and Russian, were finalists in that category.
QE II Librarian Patrick Warner received the E. J. Pratt Poetry Award for There, there, (Véhicule Press, 2005). English professor Mary Dalton was a finalist for the Pratt award.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards are administered by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador under the patronage of Edward Roberts, Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The winner in each category receives a cash prize of $1,500 and each runner-up receives $500.
The judges said Patrick Warner “practices his peculiar brand of alchemy, transmuting the commonplace, the pedestrian, into burnished gold.”
The judges also praised Dr. Bassler’s work. They said it “succeeds in dispelling what he calls the myth of Newfoundland and Labrador’s purely British heritage.
“Bassler describes a small but vibrant German community, doing business, marrying, holding public office, and now gone. What lingers in Newfoundland is a stereotype created by wartime propaganda and faint traces of German presence in family names and Labrador Inuit who can still count in German.”