Nino Ricci’s first novel, Lives of the Saints, garnered international acclaim, appearing in fifteen countries and winning a host of awards, including, in Canada, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and in England, the Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Prize. It formed the first volume of a trilogy that was completed by In A Glass House and Where She Has Gone, which was shortlisted for the Giller Prize for Fiction. The Lives of the Saints trilogy was adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson.
Ricci is also the author of Testament, co-winner of the Trillium Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. In 2006, Ricci was the winner of the inaugural Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement.
Born in Leamington, Ontario, to parents from the Molise region of Italy, Ricci completed studies at York University in Toronto, at Concordia University in Montreal, and at the University of Florence, and has taught both in Canada and abroad. He has served as writer-in-residence at the North York Public Library, the Kitchener Public Library, and the University of Windsor, and has held the Mariano Elia Chair at York University, the Chair in Religion and the Arts at Assumption University, the G. M. Hopkins Chair in Literary Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, and the inaugural Killam Visting Professorship in Canadian Studies at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He is also a past president of the Canadian Centre of International PEN.
Nino Ricci’s latest novel is The Origin of Species. According to the Toronto Star, it is “Ricci’s masterstroke to date . . . .An ambitious, thrilling novel that resists encapsulation and takes not a single misstep.” The Origin of Species earned Ricci his second Governor General’s Award for Fiction as well as the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award. In spring 2009 Ricci also published a biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau as part of Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series. Most recently, he was the winner of York University’s 2010 Pinnacle Achievement Award.