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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 3, 2016
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Laurier’s Jacqui Tam wins international book award

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jun 5/13

Jacqui Tam remembers the moment she realized the first book she needed to write had to be her father’s story. It was then that she put her dream of becoming a writer in motion, and began Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Gift, the moving and deeply personal story of her close relationship with her father, a relationship that defied the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. 

A decade after its original release, Tam, Laurier’s assistant vice-president of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, has been recognized by the international Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) with a silver medal for the tenth anniversary edition of A Daughter’s Gift.

Tam, who never refers to A Daughter’s Gift as her book, but rather “her father’s story,” said it meant the world to her to receive the award in large part because her father would not have expected recognition.

“My father never thought of himself as a special person, but he was remarkable in many ways. He was exceedingly humble, and had an incredible impact on his children and so many others,” said Tam. 

Tam has always hoped that sharing her experience of losing her father to Alzheimer’s in 1994 could help other families struggling with the disease. 

“It wasn’t an easy story to write because I wanted to make sure it did my father justice, and because Alzheimer’s was a difficult and painful journey for all of us,” said Tam. “It took quite a while to write and, since it’s such a personal story, it took even longer to let it go.” 

A Daughter's Gift took silver in the Memoir category of the IPPY awards, with gold going to a title published by Michigan State University Press. Tam received the award at a ceremony in New York City on May 29.

The IPPY awards accept submissions from independent and university publishers, and this year received more than 5,200 entries from 10 countries. Other winners came from publishers such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House Historical Association, and Princeton University Press.


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