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Writer and convicted bank robber Stephen Reid wins 2013 Victoria Book Prize


Stephen Reid, Canada’s most notorious bank robber, is the winner of the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison. The book is a collection of unflinching, harrowing essays that detail Reid’s experiences as an addict, criminal, writer, and prison inmate.

Reid’s first book, the acclaimed novel Jackrabbit Parole, was written while he was serving 21 years for bank robbery at Kent Institution in Agassiz, B.C. The book was published in 1986. The same year, while still at Kent, he married fellow writer Susan Musgrave, who we interviewed in 2011. Reid was granted parole in 1987.

Reid is currently serving an 18 year sentence at William Head correctional instititution for a 1999 bank robbery in Victoria, B.C. The robbery was followed by a police chase through Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, during which shots were fired.

The Victoria Butler Book Prize, worth $5000 CAN, was awarded at a gala event on October 16, in Victoria. Reid was unable to attend.

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