Giller prize winner,
Richard B. Wright, a Trent University graduate
of his age and family responsibilities, Mr. Wright said he did
not engage in many student activities at Trent, but has fond
memories of many of his favourite professors such as Fred Tromly,
Michael Treadwell and David Cameron. His wife Phyllis was employed
as a secretary in the Philosophy department.
Richard B. Wright, the winner of
this year's Giller Prize - Canada's prestigious literary award
worth $25,000 - is a graduate of Trent University. Mr.Wright
graduated from Trent in 1972 with a bachelor of arts degree in
"I always wanted to be a writer,"
said Mr. Wright, "but I knew it would be difficult to make
a living at it in this country, so I went back to university
when I was in my '30s to get a degree and become a teacher."
While at Trent, Mr. Wright published his
first novel, The Weekend Man, which received high acclaim.
He was the recipient of a scholarship from Quaker Oats. He was
a student of Catharine Parr Traill College, and lived with his
wife and young child in a small cottage on Chemong Lake.
Richard B. Wright
The Chair of Trent University's English
Department, James Neufeld, reflected on the news of Mr. Wright's
outstanding literary achievement. "It takes more than a
university education to create a good writer," said Professor
Neufeld. "To build a career like the one Richard Wright
has created requires dedication, constant honing of the craft
and long, long hours of labour. As Wright has commented, much
of this work is by its nature solitary. The Giller Prize is not
only a wonderful recognition of his achievement, but also a way
of bringing that achievement out into the community-and reducing
the solitary nature of the craft. We at Trent are, of course,
proud of the association we have had with Mr. Wright in the past,
but even more, we are happy to see this public recognition of
After graduation, Mr. Wright became an
English teacher at Ridley College where he taught for 20 years.
He has published nine novels. The Giller was awarded for his
novel Clara Callan. Previous winners of the Giller include
Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro.
- 30 -