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Book links roundup: TTC launches book club, activists concerned about London Book Fair’s China focus, and more


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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.

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Book links roundup: White House disdains The Obamas book, U.K. stamps honour Roald Dahl, and more

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Quillcast episode four: Clark Blaise and The Meagre Tarmac

Quillcast is a podcast series from Quill & Quire featuring behind-the-scenes conversations with authors and publishing insiders. In this episode, recorded during Toronto’s International Festival of Authors in October, Catherine Bush interviews Clark Blaise about his career and the writing life.

Blaise recently released his first new short story collection in nearly two decades. Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, The Meagre Tarmac (Biblioasis) is a collection of linked stories exploring various characters from the South Asian diaspora. Bush is coordinator of the University of Guelph’s creative writing MFA program and the author of three novels, including Claire’s Head.

Clark Blaise, pictured with his wife, Bharati Mukherjee, at their California home

Quillcast is produced with media partners The Walrus, Open Book: Ontario, and Open Book: Toronto, with support from Toronto Life. This project has been generously supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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Quillcast episode three: Charlotte Gill and Eating Dirt

Quillcast is a new podcast series from Quill & Quire featuring behind-the-scenes conversations with authors and publishing insiders. In this episode, the second in a two-part series on non-fiction authors, Vancouver writer Charlotte Gill speaks about her experiences as a professional tree-planter, the subject of her memoir Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe (Greystone Books), one of Q&Q’s 2011 books of the year.

Eating Dirt was shortlisted for the inaugural Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for non-fiction, and was recently longlisted for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Scroll down to listen to the episode, and click on the thumbnails to view photos from Gill’s life as a tree-planter:

Quillcast is produced with media partners The Walrus, Open Book: Ontario, and Open Book: Toronto, with support from Toronto Life. This project has been generously supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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Quillcast episode two: Andrew Westoll and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

Welcome to Quillcast, a new podcast series from Quill & Quire featuring behind-the-scenes conversations with authors and publishing insiders. In this episode, the first in a two-part series on non-fiction authors, Andrew Westoll speaks about his experience writing The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (HarperCollins Canada).

Andrew Westoll is a Toronto journalist and former primatologist. In The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, which was recently longlisted for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and named one of Q&Q’s 2011 books of the year, he writes about a group of chimpanzees living out their last days in a Quebec animal sanctuary after enduring years as the subjects of medical testing.

Scroll down to listen to the episode, and click on the thumbnails to view photos of the Fauna Sanctuary chimps:

Quillcast is produced with media partners The Walrus, Open Book: Ontario, and Open Book: Toronto, with support from Toronto Life. This project has been generously supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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Book links round-up: stories of remembrance, a dissected e-reader, and more

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Listen to Quillcast episode one: the art of book design

Welcome to Quillcast, a new podcast series from Quill & Quire featuring behind-the-scenes conversations with authors and publishing insiders. In this first episode, CS Richardson, vice-president and creative director of Canadian Publishing for Random House Canada, discusses the changing art of book design.

Over his impressive 30-year career, Richardson has designed more than 1,500 books. He’s also an accomplished writer, whose first novel, The End of the Alphabet, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Carribean. He is currently at work on a second novel, The Emperor of Paris, to be published in 2012.

Scroll down to listen to our first episode, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Click on the thumbnails to view a gallery of Richardson’s work:

Quillcast is produced with media partners The Walrus, Open Book: Ontario, and Open Book: Toronto, with support from Toronto Life. This project has been generously supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

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Quillcast coming soon

Quill & Quire’s new podcast series, Quillcast, debuts at the end of October. Come back to the website for discussions on Canada’s authors, books, and the publishing industry, with accompanying photo slideshows and videos.

Quillcast is produced with media partners The Walrus, Open Book: Ontario, and Open Book: Toronto, with support from Toronto Life. This project has been generously supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

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Daily book biz round-up, March 23

All the news that’s fit to blog:

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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.

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

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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