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Sep 12: Wild West Woman Lassos Vancity Book Price

Wild West Women Lassos Vancity Book Prize

Vancouver, September 12, 2001 - A book about the travellers, adventurers and rebellious women who bucked tradition to stand proudly on the fringe of BC's wild frontier is this year's winner of the Vancity Book Prize.

Wild West Women, featuring tales of unconventional women from the Gold Rush to the 1940s by Victoria author Rosemary Neering, has taken home the award presented annually to the best BC-authored book pertaining to women's issues.

Published by Whitecap Books, Wild West Women is not about the nurses, teachers and crusaders who usually show up in the history books.

Instead, it explores the raunchy lives of the colourful women who ran traplines, hotels and bawdy houses. From a disenchanted immigrant who tried to walk to Russia, to others who divined water, oil and criminal tendencies, these are the women who settled outside the cities, prospected for gold, lived in the wilderness and married as many times as they wanted - or never at all.

A Victoria resident, the author is a full-time freelance writer, editor and author of a number of books about the Canadian West including: Down the Road: Journeys through Small-Town British Columbia and A Traveller's Guide to Historic British Columbia, and co-author of Over Canada: An Aerial Adventure.

The $4,000 Vancity Book Prize was founded in 1992 and is one of the most lucrative literary awards in BC. It is sponsored in co-operation with the Vancouver Public Library, the BC Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, and BC BookWorld. The purpose of the book prize is to raise awareness about women's issues and recognize women's contribution to BC's literary community.

Winners receive a $3,000 prize from Vancity, along with a $1,000 donation to a women's organization of the author's choice from the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services. Neering's donation will go to Big Sisters of Victoria.

"I am absolutely delighted at the news that Wild West Women has been awarded this prize," Neering says. "There is an amazing number of good books by, for and about women being published, and it is an honour to be selected. The prize is very much in the spirit of achievement and energy displayed by many of the women chronicled in the book. I think most of them would suggest I go out and have a darn good celebration (though they wouldn't say darn)."

The prize will be awarded to Neering at a Sunday in the Square reading, November 4, 2 p.m. at the downtown location of the Vancouver Public Library.

Honourable mentions for the Vancity Book Prize went to two finalists: One Man at a Time; the Secrets of a Serial Monogamist by Elizabeth Simpson, published by McFarlane,Walters & Ross, and The Bear's Embrace by Patricia Van Tighem, published by Greystone.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $7 billion in assets, 271,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.