The 1998 TORGI awards, presented by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), honored two National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) recorded titles in the category of partner-produced books. The winners were Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (nonfiction), narrated by Patrick Horgan, and Rose (fiction) by Martin Cruz Smith, narrated by John Horton. Both recordings were produced for NLS by the American Foundation for the Blind.
The awards ceremony, held on Oct. 19, honored the best in Canadian and international talking books. A Tiny TORGI was presented for the best print-braille book for children.
"TORGI Awards are offered as a significant acknowledgment of appreciation to the authors, publishers, donors and volunteers whose generosity continues to open the world of literature and information to thousands of Canadians who are blind or visually impaired who would otherwise have no access to it," said Frank Verge, chair of the CNIB Library Board.
Winners for CNIB-produced books were Elephant Winter (fiction) by Kim Echlin, narrated by Anne Saunders, and Where the Hell Are the Guns? A Soldier's Eye View of the Anxious Years 1939-44 (nonfiction) by George G. Blackburn, narrated by Simon Curwen. The Tiny TORGI Book of the Year was Jerimiah Learns to Read by Jo Ellen Bogart.
Nominees included 20 works produced in Canada and around the world. Winners are selected by committees of talking-book users from across Canada who base their decisions on literary merit, technical quality, excellence in narration and the overall success of the title as a talking book. Young jurors who read braille choose their favorite print-braille book for the Tiny TORGI Award.
"Ninety percent of the CNIB Library's readers use talking books," said Rosemary Kavanagh, executive director for the CNIB Library for the Blind. "The TORGI Awards is the only place where they join with the larger literary community in celebrating our literary heritage."