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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other certified bibliophiles.

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Jul 15, 2009

Nino Ricci’s first novel, the best-selling Lives of the Saints, won international acclaim and a host of awards, including, in Canada, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and in England, the Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Prize.  It was followed by In A Glass House and Where She Has Gone, which completed the trilogy that Lives of the Saints began, Testament, co-winner of the Trillium Award, and, The Origin of Species which won Ricci his second Governor General’s Award.

Born in Leamington, Ontario, to parents from the Molise region of Italy, he completed studies at York University in Toronto, at Concordia University in Montreal, and at the University of Florence, and has taught both in Canada and abroad.  We met recently at the Blue Met Writers Festival in Montreal to talk about his most recent work: a brief biography of Pierre Trudeau for Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series.

Topics covered include the Italian Canadian attachment to Trudeau and the Liberals, immigration, gun slingers, alluring leadership qualities, fear of failure, media strategies, bilingualism’s mixed legacy, the Charter, budget deficits, the pride of being Canadian, and philosopher-kings.