Student experiences

Yasuko Thanh - Writing

UVic writing alumnus Yasuko Thanh was the winner of the 2009 Journey Prize, Canada’s most significant monetary award given to an emerging writer for a short story or excerpt from a fiction work-in-progress.

She won the $10,000 award for Floating like the Dead, a fictional account of the D’Arcy Island leper colony. “The first time I heard about it, I almost didn’t believe it,” recalls Thanh. “So I went to look it up in the BC history books I had on my bookshelf, and it wasn’t even mentioned. This is the part that really got me going. How could this have happened, how could these people have lived and died, under those circumstances, and there not even be a sanitized version?”

Thanh is spending part of her award proceeds on a girl’s scholarship in Africa, a library in a box and literacy training for two women through Plan Canada.

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