Bez­mozgis wins Ama­zon First Novel Award

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

TORONTO — Toronto au­thor David Bez­mozgis is the win­ner of this year’s First Novel Award from Ama­zon.ca.

Bez­mozgis claimed the prize for his Harpercollins Canada book The Free World, about three gen­er­a­tions of Rus­sian Jews who seek new lives in the West. The prize comes with a cheque for $7,500. It was awarded Thurs­day in Toronto.

The Free World was also a fi­nal­ist for the Sco­tia­bank Giller Prize and the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Lit­er­ary Award. Ama­zon’s First Novel Award rec­og­nizes out­stand­ing achieve­ment by first-time Cana­dian nov­el­ists. Bez­mozgis beat out fi­nal­ists Fraser Nixon for The Man Who Killed (Dou­glas & Mcin­tyre), Sina Queyras for Au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of Child­hood (Coach House Books), Olive Se­nior for Danc­ing Lessons (Cor­morant Books) and Alexi Zent­ner for Touch (Knopf Canada). WASHINGTON — A live record­ing of Louis Armstrong play­ing his trum­pet for one of the last times is be­ing re­leased to the public for the first time.

The record­ing is be­ing played Fri­day at the Na­tional Press Club in Washington where it was cre­ated in Jan­uary 1971. Armstrong was a fea­tured per­former cel­e­brat­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of fel­low Louisiana na­tive Ver­non Lou­viere as pres­i­dent of the club.

The per­for­mance was a come­back of sorts. Armstrong had been in poor health and didn’t play for much of 1970. But he felt strong enough to play in Washington and sur­prised the crowd with tunes like Hello Dolly. Armstrong died later that year. Smith­so­nian Folk­way Record­ings is re­leas­ing Armstrong’s mu­sic on CD and dig­i­tal down­load af­ter col­lab­o­rat­ing with the press club and the Louis Armstrong Foun­da­tion .— The As­so­ci­ated Press

Levon Helm

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