Last night at a reception in Toronto, Mona Awad was awarded the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. This year was a special occasion — it is the 40th anniversary of the award (which has been sponsored by Amazon.ca for the past ten years), and in honour of the anniversary, the prize purse was increased to $40,000.
Awad's novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Canada), was selected from a strong, six-title shortlist. The book tells the story of Lizzie, growing up in Mississauga and deeply dissatisfied with the way she looks. Praised for its humour, frankness, and insightful skewering of our cultural obsession with perfection, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl deeply impressed judges Russell Brown, Gurjinder Basran, and Nick Mount.