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Souvankham Thammavongsa is a Canadian poet and short story writer. In 2019, she won an O. Henry Award for her short story, "Slingshot", which was published in Harper's Magazine, and in 2020 her short story collection How to Pronounce Knife won the Giller Prize.
In their citation, jurors hailed the book as “a stunning collection of stories that portray the immigrant experience in achingly beautiful prose.” Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, and raised in Toronto, Thammavongsa traces the stories of immigrants building new lives far from home, straining against the mores of both societies as they search for a sense of belonging.
Toronto writer Souvankham Thammavongsa wins Giller Prize for fiction debut 'How to Pronounce Knife'
Toronto-based writer Souvankham Thammavongsa is the winner of this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Thammavongsa received the $100,000 honour Monday night for her fiction debut, “How to Pronounce Knife,” published by McClelland and Stewart.
Thammavongsa smiled as she showed off the trophy to her two friends at her Toronto home. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her parents for providing the inspiration for the title piece in the short story collection.
Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 9, 2020 11:54PM EST