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Professor shortlisted for Alberta Literary Award


bitter medicine cover.jpg
April 7, 2011

Playwright, author and drama professor Clem Martini, together with his brother, graphic artist Olivier Martini, have been shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction as a part of the 2011 Alberta Literary Awards. The nomination recognizes the authors’ non-fiction work Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness.

The Writers Guild of Alberta (WGA) made the announcement April 7. Winners will be announced and awards presented at the Alberta Book Awards Gala on Saturday June 11, 2011. The Alberta Literary Awards recognize and celebrate the highest standards of literary excellence from Alberta authors.

Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness, by Clem Martini and Olivier Martini (Alberta: Broadview Press, 2010)
From the Publisher-

In 1976, Ben Martini was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A decade later, his brother Olivier was told he had the same disease. For the past thirty years the Martini family has struggled to comprehend and cope with a devastating illness, frustrated by a health care system lacking in resources and empathy, the imperfect science of medication, and the strain of mental illness on familial relationships.

Throughout it all, Olivier, an accomplished visual artist, drew. His sketches, comic strips, and portraits document his experience with, and capture the essence of, this all too frequently misunderstood disease. In Bitter Medicine, Olivier’s poignant graphic narrative runs alongside and communicates with a written account of the past three decades by his younger brother, award-winning author and playwright Clem Martini. The result is a layered family memoir that faces head-on the stigma attached to mental illness.

Shot through with wry humour and unapologetic in its politics, Bitter Medicine is the story of the Martini family, a polemical and poetic portrait of illness, and a vital and timely call for action.

For more information on the Alberta Literary Awards visit www.writersguild.ab.ca.