Vine Award Winners 2023


October 26, 2023

The Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature, presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts, announced it’s five award recipients at the 2023 Ceremony on October 12, 2023.

These awards celebrate the best Canadian Jewish writers, as well as non-Jewish Canadian authors whose works contain significant Jewish content across a range of categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, History, Young Adult and Children’s Literature, and Poetry. Each winning author was presented with a prize of $10,000 during today’s ceremony.

The recipients of the 2023 Vine Awards are:

  • Fiction Category: Sheila Heti from Toronto, ON, Pure Colour, published by Knopf Canada
  • Non-Fiction Category: Dr. Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté, from Vancouver, BC, The Myth of Normal, published by Knopf Canada
  • History Category: Jeffrey Veidinger from Ann Arbour, MI, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, published by HarperCollins Publishers
  • Poetry Category: Adam Sol from Toronto, ON, Broken Dawn Blessings, published by ECW Press
  • Young Adult/Children Category: Cary Fagan from Toronto, ON, Water, Water, published by Tundra Books

The Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature are made possible in part by a generous donation from the Lillian and Norman Glowinsky Family Foundation to support Canadian Jewish literature, a tradition they established with the original awards in 2004, building on the Canadian Jewish Book Awards founded in 1988 by Adam Fuerstenberg. The Vine Awards are a loving tribute to Lillian’s parents – Helen and Stan Vine – who were passionate about the arts and the Jewish community throughout their lives.

You can purchase these books from Ben McNally Books:


Sheila Heti, Pure Colour

Published by Knopf Canada

“Sheila Heti’s novel is a philosophical and mystical exploration of grief, love, art, and God. The book poses a thought-provoking question: What if God is a painter, and the current world is just one version of his creation? The story is grounded in the present world at times, while at other times, it rests on a single leaf. Heti’s sharp prose carries the reader through an otherworldly, almost biblical narrative. This fearless and quirky novel grapples with significant questions about faith, our place in the universe, and how we perceive the world”.

– Vine Awards Jury


Jeffrey Veidinger, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

“This meticulously researched book invites the reader to a renewed understanding of the notion of pogrom by analyzing the situation of Jews who experienced this new form of violence in Ukraine between 1918 and 1921. Using long-neglected materials and recently opened Soviet archives, Veidlinger reveals many facets in the genesis, organization, practice and acceptance of this criminal path to the Holocaust. This text also clearly differentiates what the Germans could build on and what they brought to the process. This book invites the reader to reflect on the tragic innovations of the 20th century, while gaining new insights into this murderous process”.

– Vine Awards Jury 


Dr. Gabor Maté with Daniel Maté, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture

Published by Knopf Canada

“Gabor Maté, a renowned physician and healer, and his son, chronicle his life dealing with trauma and mental health. They reflect on the social implications of health in a toxic world. Maté offers new ways of bearing witness to personal and social diseases. The book covers topics from brain chemistry to rethinking what is deemed “normal.” It’s beautifully written and changes the modern-day discussion on health and healing”.

– Vine Awards Jury 


Cary Fagan, Water, Water

Published by Tundra Books

“In this middle-grade novel, Rafe wakes up to a post-apocalyptic world where his bedroom is floating in an endless sea of water. With only his dog for company, Rafe must face the challenge of surviving in a world that has turned upside down. The story touches on important themes such as climate change, personal growth, and community. Fagan takes the reader on a journey through a high fantasy world, while also exploring deeper questions about grief, fear, and loss”.

– Vine Awards Jury 


Adam Sol, Broken Dawn Blessings

Published by ECW Press

“Adam Sol’s latest book is a beautiful and deeply emotional collection of poems that bear witness to personal and public violence through language. Stripped to the core, the speaker relies on prayers whispered for generations, blessing us with powerful words of gratitude, powerlessness, and wonder”.

– Vine Awards Jury 

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