Ahmad Saidullah's short story Happiness And Other Disorders won second prize in the 2005 CBC Literary Awards held at La Grande Bibliotheque in Montreal, Canada on 26 February 2006. 3,500 entries in all English and French categories were sent in by Canadians from all over the world. The English fiction jurors were Random House Canada publisher Anne Collins and award-winning novelists Catherine Bush and Eden Robinson.
Prizes were awarded on the author's use of language, originality of subject and writing style. Novelist Bill Richardson and Montreal journalist Chantal Jolie were the MCs at the event. The jury called Happiness And Other Disorders "a lively monologue that takes us on a journey across continents and makes the collision between cultures bizarrely literal, doing so with idiosyncrasy, humour and empathetic breadth." CBC presenter Bill Richardson noted that Happiness And Other Disorders was unique among the 3,500 entries received in being written in one sentence which was 7-pages long.
Ahmad is the third Canadian South Asian writer after Michael Ondaatje and Shauna Singh Baldwin to be recognized by Canada's top literary short story prize and the first since the awards were redesigned in 2001. Past winners have also included Carol Shields, Gwendolyn MacEwan, Robert Munsch, Susan Musgrave, Leon Rooke, Michel Tremblay, and Monique Proulx. For writeups on the current winners, click here.
Happiness and other disorders can be read in the June 2006 edition of enRoute, Air Canada's flight magazine, and will reach a million readers. The CBC Literary Awards were broadcast in April 2006 and the story was read by Cedric De Souza on Between the Covers on CBC Radio Canada's national airwaves on 23 May 2006.
Canada Council for the Arts. Air Canada, and enRoute were the principal partners for the awards.