Arthur Erickson biography wins Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize

David Stouck’s biography of renowned local architect Arthur Erickson is the winner of the second annual Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia. The $1,000 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded at a June reception at UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Stouck was chosen for his book Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life (Douglas & McIntyre). His extensive study details the manifold contrasts and contradictions of Erickson – a one-time UBC architecture professor who became internationally renowned and designed some of Vancouver’s signature buildings (including UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, Stouck’s personal favourite).

“Although Arthur Erickson’s career was global, the biography is first and foremost a book about British Columbia,” says Stouck, who is based in North Vancouver. “Winning the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize is important because this will help make it known to those I consider the book’s first audience – the people of BC.”

“Congratulations to David Stouck for winning the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize,” says Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian. “His study of a complex man and a brilliant architect offers an absorbing profile of an iconic British Columbian.”

Stouck met Stuart-Stubbs 30 years ago while editing the unpublished writings of Ethel Wilson, the Vancouver writer. “A particular charm attaches to that encounter for both Stuart-Stubbs’s enthusiasm for Wilson’s writing, and for his knowledge of her family’s role in the city’s history,” he recalls.

Arthur Erickson was one of three shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize. The other nominees included Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History by Sean Kheraj (UBC Press) and Charles Edenshaw by Robin Kathleen Wright, Daina Augaitis, Robert Davidson and James Hart (Black Dog Publishing).

Stouck’s winning title was also awarded the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize at the 2014 BC Book Prizes. It was nominated for the 2014 RBC Charles Taylor Non-Fiction Prize.

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs’s many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and as the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Stuart-Stubbs had a leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities. During his exceptional career, he took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books, and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and their readers, and to Canadian publishing.

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