Quill and Quire

Canada's magazine of book news and reviews

Andrew Westoll wins the Charles Taylor Prize

The $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction was awarded to Andrew Westoll for his book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery at a ceremony in Toronto this afternoon. The book follows Westoll’s experience with 13 chimps that have been “retired” from biomedical research. The jury citation for Westoll’s book reads in part:

Westoll deftly draws the reader into the wild day-to-day ride of life with the Fauna chimps and soon their otherness falls away. Through his lens, the chimps are revealed as the individuals they are, with all their foibles, damage, and possibility “ and the reader’s world view shifts on its axis. Heartrending and heart-warming, this is a stunning and important work of art and documentary and science.

A tweet from CBC Books indicates that Westoll thanked his wife and dedicated his award to the chimps.

The other shortlisted titles, culled from a longlist of 11 books, were:

This year’s jury consisted of Harvard University dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Allan M. Brandt; investigative journalist (and former Charles Taylor nominee) Stevie Cameron; and editor Susan Renouf. The runners-up each receive $2,000.

You can listen to Q&Q podcasts featuring Westoll and Gill, and watch for more coverage later today on Q&Q Omni.