Just as a pair of novels came to dominate the past fall’s literary awards season, so too has a pair of non-fiction titles, about tree-planting in the Pacific Northwest and a group of chimps living out their days in a Quebec animal sanctuary, emerged as the books to beat.
Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe (Greystone Books) by Charlotte Gill and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery (HarperCollins Canada) by Andrew Westoll (both of which were named Q&Q books of the year for 2011) led the nominations for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, the shortlist for which was announced in Toronto Tuesday morning. Both titles are also on the shortlist for the $40,000 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction, which was unveiled last month.
The complete shortlist, as chosen by jurors Allan M. Brandt, Stevie Cameron, and Susan Renouf, is as follows:
- Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (Knopf Canada)
- Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill (Greystone Books)
- The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit by J.J. Lee (McClelland & Stewart)
- Afflictions and Departures by Madeline Sonik (Anvil Press)
- The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery by Andrew Westoll (HarperCollins Canada)
The winner of the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize will be announced at a gala luncheon in Toronto on March 5.