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Wade Davis wins Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Wade Davis with the Samuel Johnson Prize judging panel (Photo: Samuel Johnson Prize 2012)

Wade Davis was awarded the £20,000 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for his book Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest (Vintage Canada) at an award ceremony in London, U.K., last night.

Into the Silence, which recounts English mountaineer George Mallory’s attempt to climb Mount Everest in the 1920s, was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language non-fiction, The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and the Boardman Tasket Prize for Mountain Literature.

Davis is the author of 15 books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow (Simon & Schuster), an anthropological investigation of Voodoo culture’s place in Haitian history. He is currently an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

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Bernadette McDonald shortlisted for Boardman Tasker Prize

Freedom Climbers, a non-fiction book by Banff–based writer Bernadette McDonald, has been shortlisted for the 2011 Boardman Tasker Prize. The international prize, established in 1983 to commemorate two young Brits who died while climbing Mount Everest, awards £3,000 annually to the author of a work that has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

Published by Rocky Mountain Books, Freedom Climbers traces a group of intrepid Polish mountaineers’ extreme adventures during the Cold War. McDonald, founding vice-president of Mountain Culture at the Banff Centre, has authored six other books on mountaineering.

The Boardman Tasker Prize will be awarded Nov. 20 at the Kendal Mountain Festival in England. If McDonald wins, it would make her the first Canadian to bring home the prize.

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Hall of Honourers

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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

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