Vincent Lam, an active Anglican from Toronto, has won the prestigious 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize for excellence in English-language Canadian fiction.
Mr. Lam, a parishioner of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, received a $40,000 prize and a bronze statue for Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, his debut collection of short stories about four medical school graduates. The son of Chinese immigrants from Vietnam, Mr. Lam, is himself an emergency room physician and writer.
“Luck is not what it seems and most of it falls into the category of divine blessing or people who have been kind to you,” said Mr. Lam in his acceptance speech.
Mr. Lam recently published a poignant article about St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, one of Toronto’s oldest Anglican churches, which has been threatened with closure by the diocese of Toronto because of its financial problems.
“We worship because we de-sire a connection with the sacred. We seek an earthly place to act as a conduit, hoping it will both draw us toward itself and shield us from some of the compromises of the rest of the world,” he wrote in the Toronto Star in September. “I realize I’ve always looked for a church in the fields. St. Stephen, once on the rural fringes of a colonial town, is now in the centre of a swirling metropolis. Yet, it stands in the fields of my inner landscape, where I’ve always wanted a church to be. In this mental geography, it remains intact despite changes of season, weather and politics.”