Omar El Akkad wins Canadian literature award

TORONTO (AP) — Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist Omar El Akkad, has won Canada’s richest literary award.

El Akkad won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his book "What Strange Paradise" on Monday night. The former Globe and Mail journalist received the honor at a nationally televised Toronto gala.

"What Strange Paradise," published by McClelland & Stewart, is a novel about two children caught in the global refugee crisis. The story alternates between the perspectives of Amir, a Syrian boy who survives a shipwreck on an unnamed island, and Vänna, the local teenage girl who saves him.

Past winners of the Giller Prize have included Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and Alice Munro.