Ann Hui has won the 2020 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for her book, Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's Chinese Restaurants (Douglas & McIntyre, $24.95). The Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction considers Canadian writers who have published a first or second book with a Canadian locale or significance.
Prior to the 2020 Edna Staeblr Award, Ann Hui and Chop Suey Nation have garnered various award attention, including:
- 2020 Winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
- 2020 Gold Award at Taste Canada for Culinary Narratives
- 2020 Winner Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the Chinese Cooking and Food Writing Category, for Canada
- 2019-2020 Honor Title at the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Adult Non-Fiction Category
- 2020 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cuisinart Awards (Cookbook Awards division for Literary/Historical Food Writing)
- 2019 Winner of the Dr. Edgar Wickberg Book Prize by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. for the Best Book on Chinese Canadian History
- 2020 longlisted for the Toronto Book Awards
Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's Chinese Restaurants is a travelogue, culinary investigation, family memoir and cultural commentary. Driving across Canada, from Victoria, BC to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Ann Hui writes about small-town Chinese restaurants and the families who run them. The road trip reveals a family’s secret – her parents had run a Chinese restaurant, The Legion Cafe, before she was born. By the end of her journey Hui has a new appreciation for the importance of these restaurants in the country’s history, making the case for the quintessentially Canadian nature of chop suey cuisine.
Ann Hui is The Globe and Mail’s National Food Reporter and uses food as a lens to explore public policy, health, the environment, science and technology. Before she joined The Globe, her writing was published in the Walrus, National Post, Toronto Star and Victoria Times Colonist. She has twice been nominated for National Newspaper Awards. Hui was born in Vancouver, BC and currently lives in Toronto, ON.
About the Prize: The Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is a unique award — the only one offered in Canada for the genre. Established in 1991 by writer and literary journalist Edna Staebler, it recognizes a Canadian writer of a first or second published book with a Canadian locale and/or significance. In 2022, a trio of books was nominated for the 2020 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, as Wilfrid Laurier University begins to catch up on handing out the prestigious $10,000 award after two years of postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation of the award was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Gillespie is one of three judges for this year’s award. The other judges are Sharon Brown, the former Librarian at Wilfrid Laurier University, and Anne Russell, Professor Emerita in the Department of English and Film Studies. A reception and award presentation is scheduled for Nov. 30 in the Robert Langen Art Gallery at Laurier’s Waterloo campus.