The announcement on Tuesday that writer M.G. Vassanji had won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction was welcome news to many people at York, not least the archivists at York Libraries’ Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections.
Right: M.G. Vassanji
In addition to holding an honorary doctorate from York (Hon. DLitt ’05) and participating twice in the Department of Humanities’ Canadian Writers in Person series (see YFile, Oct. 21, 2008 and Oct. 1, 2004), Vassanji donated papers to the archives in 2005 and 2008. Last year’s gift-in-kind included the manuscripts and research notes for A Place Within: Rediscovering India – the work that won him this year’s award, the first non-fiction award for Vassanji, who is well known for his novels.
Among the material placed with the archives at York, are papers related to Vassanji’s Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novels, The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. With Vassanji’s permission, researchers looking into his writing can access research material, notes, drafts and edited manuscripts of those works and others, including The Gunny Sack, No New Land and Amrika.
The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections is located on the third floor of York’s Scott Library, Keele campus.