A graduate of Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School has won Canada’s prestigious literary 2012 Giller Prize.
Will Ferguson, who graduated in 1983, accepted the award in Toronto on Tuesday for his dark novel called 419.
In September, he was the keynote speaker at Red Deer Public School District’s 125th anniversary’s celebration dinner. At that time, Ferguson credited his experiences at Lindsay Thurber for sparking his love for creative writing.
He was inducted into the Lindsay Thurber Hall of Fame in 2002.
High school principal Jim Levette said that Ferguson spoke in late September with Grade 9 and 10 students, as well as some younger students from schools that feed into the high school.
Levette said it will be so great to tell them that Ferguson has won such a coveted prize, and that they too can live out such a success as he has.
Levette said that Ferguson was very positive on what he had to say about going to Lindsay Thurber.
“The teachers had an impact on his life and on his writing,” said Levette.
Ferguson told the students that his high school life affected how he sees the world and how he writes now.
“So we’re really happy with that,” said Levette.
A jury of three writers picked Ferguson after they had read more than 140 books. Ferguson’s fellow shortlisted authors were Alix Ohlin for her novel Inside, Nancy Richler for her novel The Imposter Bride, Kim Thúy for her novel Ru, and Russell Wangersky for his short story collection Whirl Away.
Ferguson’s 419 novel is about an insidious Internet scam and a woman who sets out to track down and corner her father’s killer.