Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:31

Eastend author shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Award

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Eastend author Sean Virgo's most recent book, Dibidalen, was recently shortlisted for a 2013 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.


The book uses short fiction to explore the theme of storytelling through the ages, beginning with very primitive, folklore type stories, and move into longer, more contemporary stories. “Under the surface, all of the old folktales are still playing out,” explained Virgo. “I think there is a lot of wisdom in primitive stories.”


Coming from an Irish background, Virgo is familiar with storytelling. He has traveled extensively around the world, picking up local folk stories, legends, fairy stories, and ghost stories. Dibidalen is a collection of his own works, influenced by the stories he has enjoyed over the years.


“People think fairytales are make-believe and have no relevance in the world today, but I really think they do,” Virgo said. “Modern stories are more concerned with relationships and psychology, but that's not dealt with in folktales. They are stories that apply to everyone, it's not about individuals. You don't really explore the psychology of Red Riding Hood. You just enjoy it.”


Virgo grew up as a passionate reader, and feels that much of his love for stories stems from how important books were to him as a child. He enjoys being able to create worlds for readers to explore.


“With books, you can go into other worlds and become other people,” he explained. “You know it's magic, because it is. I think there is really a love of story in everyone. We get it from all kinds of different places – tv and movies, even video games.”


He hopes that people will experience his collection of stories in the same way they would enjoy some of their favorite stories – venturing into the world he has created and falling under the spell of the story.


“I think it's good for people,” added Virgo. “There is a strange, imaginative privacy in being involved and reading something that takes you out of yourself. You can forget your bills, your job, your worries, and I really think that's the true pleasure of literature. Some people say it's escapism, but it's really not an escape from anything. It's an escape to something, instead.”


Shortlist nominees will perform readings in March and April at various locations around the province, and award winners will be announced on April 27 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.

Read 3516 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 February 2013 08:06
Jessi Gowan


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