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Leamington, Ont.-born Nino Ricci came to Concordia after completing an honours degree at York University. Ricci has drawn inspiration from his fair alma mater. Also a 2008 Governor General's award nominee for fiction, Ricci's book The Origin of Species tells the story of Alex, a PhD student at Concordia in the '80s, and his search for love and meaning while contemplating a disastrous trip to the Galapagos Islands.
For Ricci, the GG nomination for his latest work isn't uncharted territory either. Along with the win for the Governor General's Award in 1990, Ricci's first novel Lives of the Saints was widely honoured receiving a myriad of awards, including the Books in Canada First Novel Award, as well as international prizes such as the Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Prize in Britain.
Lives also began as his master’s thesis and evolved beyond the completion of his degree. His other books include In a Glass House and Where Has She Gone. He is also a past president of the Canadian Centre of International PEN, a writers’ human rights organization that works for freedom of expression.