The item beside this text is an advertisement

All stories relating to Charles Taylor Prize

Comments Off

Slideshow: Charles Taylor Prize finalists

There’s less than a week to go until the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction is announced. Narrowed down from a longlist of 15 titles, this year’s nominees cover a range of topics from ballet to the role of religion. The $25,000 prize will be presented Monday at a gala lunch.

Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about the titles vying for top spot.

Comments Off

Taylor shortlist reflects global outlook

In announcing this morning’s finalists for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, juror and past winner Richard Gwyn praised this year’s submissions for having an international scope. Calling the trend “an enormous step forward” and “a sign of growth” for Canadian non-fiction, Gwyn said that about one fifth of the 129 titles submitted for the prize were books written by Canadians that focused on global topics.

That all-encompassing approach is reflected in two of the five titles shortlisted for the $25,000 prize: Ross King’s Da Vinci biography Leonardo and The Last Supper (published by Doubleday Canada imprint Bond Street Books) and Andrew Preston’s Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy (Knopf Canada), a critique of U.S. foreign policy.

The other finalists are a trio of biographies more parochial in scope: Sandra Djwa’s Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page (McGill-Queen’s University Press), which tells the life story of the late Canadian poet; Tim Cook’s Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars (Allen Lane Canada), a dual biography of Canada’s wartime prime ministers; Carol Bishop-Gwyn’s The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca (Cormorant Books), about the controversial founder of the National Ballet of Canada.

The latter was written by Richard Gwyn’s wife. According to fellow jurors Joseph Kertes and Susanne Boyce, Gwyn recused himself from discussing the book.

The shortlist was whittled down from a longlist of 15 titles announced in December. The winner will be revealed March 4 following what prize founder Noreen Taylor promises will be a whirlwind media tour for the finalists.

Notably, none of this year’s Taylor Prize finalists were nominated for the $40,000 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction.

Comments Off

Charles Taylor Prize names 2013 longlist

It’s a good day for Modris Eksteins and Robert Fowler, who today were both nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction.

Eksteins and Fowler are joined on the Charles Taylor longlist by 13 other titles, including Ross King’s Leonardo and the Last Supper, which won the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language non-fiction.

The finalists vying for the $25,000 prize are:

Th shortlist, as selected by the jury – television program chief Susanne Boyce, author and political columnist Richard Gwyn, and author Joseph Kertes – will be announced Jan. 9. The winner will be revealed March 4.

Comments Off

Candace Savage, Modris Eksteins make shortlist for B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction

Personal memoirs dominate the shortlist for the 2013 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction.

Selected from a longlist of 10 titles, this year’s finalists includes Modris Eksteins and Robert Fowler, who today were both nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and Candace Savage, winner of the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction. B.C. poet and novelist George Bowering rounds out the list.

The shortlisted titles are:

The shortlist was selected by a jury comprised of retired librarian Paul Whitney, Globe and Mail books editor Martin Levin, and publishing-industry veteran Jan Whitford. The winner, who will receive $40,000, will be announced in February.

Comments Off

Esi Edugyan, JJ Lee, Charlotte Gill nominated for B.C. Book Prizes

The West Coast Book Prize Society has announced the shortlists for the 28th annual B.C. Book Prizes, and for Esi Edugyan, the competition cuts close to home.

Edugyan, whose novel Half-Blood Blues won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and this morning was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, is competing against her husband, Steven Price, and his novel, Into That Darkness, for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Both books are published by Thomas Allen Publishers.

Charles Taylor Prize for Non-fiction shortlisted authors Charlotte Gill and JJ Lee face off again, this time for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize, alongside 2012 Canada Reads finalist Carmen Aguirre. Gill is also nominated for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.

The winners in all seven categories will be announced at the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Book Prizes Gala on May 12 in Vancouver.

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize:

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize:

  • Chuck Davis, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver (Harbour Publishing)
  • Fred Herzog, Fred Herzog: Photographs (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Andrew Nikiforuk, Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books)
  • Sheryl Salloum, The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton (Mother Tongue Publishing)
  • Scott Watson, Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and Their Contemporaries (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery)

Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize:

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize:

  • Patrick Lane, The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour)
  • Susan McCaslin, Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press)
  • Garry Thomas Morse, Discovery Passages (Talonbooks)
  • John Pass, crawlspace (Harbour)
  • Sharon Thesen, Oyama Pink Shale (House of Anansi Press)

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize:

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize:

  • Glen Huser, The Runaway (Tradewind)
  • Pamela Porter, I’ll Be Watching (Groundwood)
  • Karen Rivers, What is Real (Orca)
  • Caitlyn Vernon, Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest (Orca)
  • Moira Young, Blood Red Road (Doubleday Canada)

Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award:

Comments Off

Book events slideshow: Kobzar Literary Award, Taylor Prize, Titanic in Halifax, and more

Every week Quillblog rounds up photos of book-related events across Canada. If you would like your event photos to be considered for our weekly feature, email

Click on the thumbnails to see what’s been happening around the country.

Comments Off

BookNet bestsellers: nature

This week’s bestsellers list, which looks at the nature category, includes two titles from the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize shortlist. Andrew Westoll’s The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (#20) might have been the big winner at today’s Charles Taylor Prize announcement, but it’s Charlotte Gill’s Eating Dirt that takes the top spot on this list.

For the two weeks ending Feb. 26:

1. Eating Dirt, Charlotte Gill (D&M Publishers, $29.95 cl, 9781553659778)

2. Unlikely Friendships, Jennifer Holland (Workman Publishing, $16.95 pa, 9780761159131)

3. The Wave, Susan Casey (Anchor Canada, $21 pa, 9780385666688)

4. Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada, Amanda Karst (Lone Pine Publishing, $29.95 pa, 9781551055725)

5. The Sacred Headwaters, Wade Davis (Douglas & McIntyre, $50 cl, 9781553658801)

6. Horse Breeds of North America, Judith Dutson (Storey Publishing, $12.95 pa, 9781580176507)

7. The Book of Deadly Animals, Gordon Grice (Penguin, $16 pa, 9780143120742)

8. Compact Guide to Ontario Birds, Andy Bezener (Lone Pine, $14.95 pa, 9781551054674)

9. Tar Sands, Andrew Nikiforuk (Greystone Books, $20 pa, 9781553655558)

10. Birds of Ontario, Andy Bezener (Lone Pine, $26.95 pa, 9781551052366)

11. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Jon L. Dunn, (National Geographic, $32 pa, 9781426208287)

12. Plants of Coastal British Columbia, Andy MacKinnon (Lone Pine, $28.95 pa, 9781551055329)

13. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Thomas Allen & Sons, $18.95 pa, 9780618249060)

14. The Rescue of Belle and Sundance, Birgit Stutz with Lawrence Scanlan (HarperCollins Canada, $14.99 pa, 9781554686209)

15. Edible Wild Plants, James Kavanagh (Waterford Press, $6.95 pr, 9781583551271)

16. Animal Tracks, James Kavanagh (Waterford Press, $6.95 pr, 9781583550724)

17. Trees (Waterford Press, $6.95 pr, 9781583551783)

18. Animal Tracks of Ontario, Ian Sheldon (Lone Pine, $9.95 pa, 9781551051093)

19. Animal (Dorling Kindersley, $55 cl, 9780756686772)

20. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, Andrew Westoll (HarperCollins Canada, $29.99 cl, 9781554686490)

Comments Off

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.

Comments Off

Gill, Westoll among Charles Taylor Prize nominees

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:

The winner of the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize will be announced at a gala luncheon in Toronto on March 5.

Comments Off

Charles Taylor Prize reveals first ever longlist

Since it was launched in 2000, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction has traditionally been among the first major literary prizes celebrated in the new year.

Now, for the first time, organizers have revealed a longlist of titles under consideration, citing both “the large number of publishers’ submissions that are received each year” and “the opportunity to promote the best of these books in the all-important Christmas bookselling season.”

Selected from 115 submissions by a jury comprising Allan M. Brandt, Stevie Cameron, and Susan Renouf, the inaugural Charles Taylor Prize longlist is as follows:

  • Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (Knopf Canada)
  • The Patrol: Seven Days in the Life of a Canadian Soldier in Afghanistan by Ryan Flavelle (HarperCollins Canada)
  • The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit by J. J. Lee (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Facing the Hunter: Reflections on a Misunderstood Way of Life by David Adams Richards (Doubleday Canada)
  • Afflictions and Departures by Madeline Sonik (Anvil Press)
  • Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism by Joel Yanofsky (Viking Canada)

For those keeping count, D&M Publishers, Random House of Canada, and HarperCollins Canada all have multiple nominations. Six of the 11 longlisted titles also appeared on the longlist for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction, which announced its shortlist last week.

The Charles Taylor Prize shortlist will be revealed Jan. 10, with the winner, who receives $25,000, being announced March 5.

The item directly under this text is an advertisement
Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Steve Artelle

Chris Jennings

Kaie Kellough


Hall of Honourers

Brandon Wint

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

The item directly under this text is an advertisement

Recent comments