Djwa wins medal for book

May 16, 2002, vol. 24, no. 2

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It was a decade in the making, but the resulting book has been worth the time and effort. Professing English, A Life of Roy Daniels, by SFU English professor Sandra Djwa is a spiritual biography of Canadian English professor Roy Daniels, 1902-1979.

The 474-page tome is also a history of the discipline of English and the emergence of Canadian literature.

“Daniels was my English professor at UBC,” explains Djwa. “His widow invited me to write his biography, but his papers were so extraordinarily rich that it soon became apparent that I wasn't just writing one man's life but the story of an individual who was very influential in shaping not only the discipline of English but also the new Canadian literature."

The book has earned Djwa the Royal Society of Canada's prestigious Lorne Pierce medal, given annually for an achievement of special significance or conspicuous merit in imaginative or critical literature written in either French or English.

Djwa has been invited to speak on writing biography at the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront in Toronto on Oct. 28.

She will receive an honorary degree from Memorial University, Newfoundland on May 29 for her work on Canadian poet E.J. Pratt.
Djwa was elected to the Royal Society in 1994.

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