Lawrence Hill has dedicated his life to learning, to teaching, and to helping. Through his efforts, Canadians have gained a better understanding of our shared history, and of the Black experience in particular. Hill is best known for his masterpiece, The Book of Negroes, which has sold more than 700,000 copies, making it one of the most popular books in Canadian publishing history. The novel has been translated into French and adapted into a mini-series for television, giving its powerful message an even wider audience.
As Hill has noted, Canadians are hungry to learn more about the nation’s history, especially the stories they have not heard before. That belief has guided his work for more than a quarter of a century. Hill has done extensive volunteer work overseas. He says that work has given him a better sense of what Canada stands for, and has provided a stronger context for his stories. Hill is also a member of the Order of Canada, and holds several honorary doctorates.
The Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award celebrates those who have brought Canadian history to a wider audience. This gifted writer of both literary fiction and non-fiction is a worthy, deserving recipient, and an inspiration to all.