Tuesday 11 January 2011

5 authors on the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction short list


This morning, at a news conference at Toronto’s Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Noreen Taylor, prize founder and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation, announced that the jury — composed of well-known authors Neil Bissoondath (Québec City), Eva-Marie Kröller (Vancouver), and David Macfarlane (Toronto) — read 153 Canadian-authored books, submitted by 44 publishers from across North America. Mrs. Taylor went on to introduce Mr. Macfarlane who made the following announcement before an audience of publishers, media, and booksellers:


Stevie Cameron for On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada.
The jury notes, “On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women is a powerful investigation into one of Canada’s most horrific crimes. With characteristic thoroughness, Stevie Cameron reveals not only the nightmarish events at the Pickton farm, but also their larger social context.”

Charles Foran for Mordecai: The Life & Times, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada.
The jury notes, “Mordecai: The Life and Times meets the immense challenge of writing about one of Canada’s most talented and controversial authors. Charles Foran has created a rich and compelling portrait of the man and his times.”

Ross King for Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven published by Douglas & McIntyre / McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
The jury notes, “Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven is a fresh and immediately authoritative study of a Canadian cultural icon. Ross King’s accomplishment is to place the historic details of the Group’s working lives into an international context.”

George Sipos for The Geography of Arrival: A Memoir published by Gaspereau Press.
The jury notes, “The Geography of Arrival is a lyrical memoir of an immigrant family’s daily lives in London, Ontario. George Sipos takes us on a journey through physical and emotional geographies, and makes the ordinary extraordinary.”

Merrily Weisbord for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.
The jury notes, “The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamal Das is an idiosyncratic account of an unusual cross-cultural friendship between a Canadian documentary filmmaker and a celebrated, controversial Indian poet. Merrily Weisbord successfully captures the contradictory complexity of their dialogue.”

2011 marks the tenth awarding of The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, a prestigious prize that recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing. Since its inception the prize has fostered a growing interest in non-fiction, engaged Canadians in the genre of literary non-fiction, and boosted sales of the winning authors’ books.

This year’s jury — Neil Bissoondath, Eva-Marie Kröller, and David Macfarlane — have been reunited after serving on the jury for the inaugural prize, awarded to Wayne Johnston for Baltimore’s Mansion in 2000.

Founded in commemoration of the late Charles Taylor, one of Canada’s foremost essayists and a prominent member of the Canadian literary community, the prize is awarded annually to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.

The 2011 prize finalists will be in Toronto for media days in mid-January, and on Sunday, February 13 and Monday, February 14, 2011. On the Sunday they will speak about their writing at a special installment of The Globe and Mail/Ben McNally Authors Brunch, and on the Monday the finalists will be honoured and the winner announced at a gala luncheon and awards ceremony. Both the Sunday and Monday events will take place at Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.

The prize consists of $25,000 for the winning author and $2,000 for each of the remaining finalists, as well as promotional and publicity support to help all of the shortlisted books to stand out in the national media, bookstores, and libraries.

The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is presented by the Charles Taylor Foundation with the generous support of its partners: Ben McNally Books, Bravo! and Book Television, Canada Newswire (CNW), Event Source, Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Quill & Quire, The Globe and Mail, and Windfields Farm.

To Download high-resolution images of the jury, finalists, and
shortlisted titles, please go to:

For more information please visit: www.thecharlestaylorprize.ca
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/taylorprize

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