TORONTO, March 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Winner of the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize
is Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People, published by Doubleday Canada. The $25,000 award was announced today
in Toronto by Prize founder and chair, Noreen Taylor during a gala
luncheon celebrating this year's Finalists. This was the 13th awarding
of the country's most prestigious prize for literary non-fiction.
Of the book, the jury notes: "Histories of North America's Native
Peoples abound, but few are as subversive, entertaining,
well-researched, hilarious, enraging, and finally as hopeful as this
very personal take on our long relationship with the "inconvenient"
Indian. King dissects idealized myths (noble Hiawatha, servile Tonto,
the Sixties nature guru) against the tragic backdrop of real Indians
abused in mission schools, penned together on reserves, and bludgeoned
by vicious or ham-fisted government policies. A sharp, informed eye is
cast on Riel, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull, on the dark and tangled
stories of Native land claims, on Alcatraz, Will Rogers (a Cherokee),
and the maid on Land o' Lakes butter; on Batoche, on Wounded Knee. In
this thoughtful, irascible account, and in characteristically
tricksterish mode, King presents a provocative alternative version of
Canada's heritage narrative."
Thomas King is a novelist, short-story writer, non-fiction author,
screenwriter, and photographer. He was born in the US, the son of a
Greek mother and a Cherokee father. Before immigrating to Canada,
Thomas King worked as an administrator and teacher at Humboldt State
University and the University of Utah (PhD 1986). He accepted a
position in Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge and soon
began writing serious fiction. Often described as one of the finest
contemporary Native America writers, two of King's books have been
nominated for Governor General's Awards. In 2003, King was the first
Native Canadian to deliver the Massey Lectures. The author currently
teaches English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.
The other finalists for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize were Charlotte Gray
for The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, And The Trial That Shocked A
Country; J.B. MacKinnon for The Once And Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be; Graeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War In Afghanistan (winner of the 2013 Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Prize for Nonfiction);
and David Stouck for Arthur Erickson: An Architect's Life. Each of these finalists receives $2,000.
Presenting partner RBC Wealth Management will host Thomas King on a
speaking tour of selected Canadian cities. He will also be invited to
speak at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) in Toronto in
The jurors for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize are: British-based university
professor and critic, Coral Ann Howells; editorial director, author and
professor, James Polk; and author, English and creative writing
instructor and former Charles Taylor Prize winner Andrew Westoll.
Jurors selected this year's winner after thoughtful review of 124 books
submitted by 45 publishers from around the world.
During her remarks Mrs. Taylor commented that, "this prize is a writers'
prize for fellow writers", adding that this year's jury had an
especially difficult decision to make due to the five outstanding
finalists. "With the jury's choice of Thomas King as our winner, we
are certainly guaranteed that a beacon of light will continue to shine
on the excellence that is literary non-fiction in Canada."
New to the RBC Taylor Prize is the addition of the RBC Taylor Prize
Emerging Writers Award, to be given to a promising Canadian author of
non-fiction selected by the winner of the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize. The
recipient of the Emerging Writers Award will receive $10,000 and the
opportunity to be mentored under the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize winner. The
inaugural winner of the Emerging Writers Award will be announced on
Monday, March 17th.
"On behalf of RBC, we congratulate Thomas King for winning this
prestigious award," said Vijay Parmar, President RBC PH&N Investment
Counsel, "RBC is deeply committed to supporting talented young writers
and their passion for literary excellence in Canada. We are thrilled
that, through the new Emerging Writers Award, we will be able to
cultivate the talents of promising young writers in Canada."
2014 marks the thirteenth awarding of Canada's most prestigious award
for literary non-fiction. Presented annually to the author whose book
best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of
style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the RBC Taylor Prize
recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes
the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. Since its
inception as The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the
Prize has helped engage Canadians in literary non-fiction and boost
sales of its finalists' books.
The RBC Taylor Prize was founded to commemorate the life of the late
Charles Taylor, one of Canada's foremost essayists and a prominent
member of the Canadian literary community. Charles Taylor was a foreign
correspondent with The Globe and Mail and the author of four books: Radical Tories; Reporter in Red China; Six Journeys: A Canadian Pattern; and Snow Job.
The Trustees of the Charles Taylor Prize Foundation are Michael Bradley
(Toronto), David Staines (Ottawa), and Noreen Taylor (Toronto). The
Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of RBC Wealth Management
as its presenting sponsor; along with its major sponsor Metropia; and
greatly appreciates the support of its media sponsors The Globe and Mail; Maclean's magazine; CNW Group; The Huffington Post Canada; Global Television; Quill & Quire magazine; and CBC.CA; and in-kind sponsors: Ben McNally Books, Event Source, IFOA and The
Omni King Edward Hotel.
For further information please visit: www.thecharlestaylorprize.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RBCTaylorPrize | Follow us on Twitter: @taylorprize
Image with caption: "RBC Taylor Prize 2014 winner was announced today. Thomas King won the annual non-fiction prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. From left to right, Thomas King and Prize founder Noreen Taylor. (CNW Group/RBC Taylor Prize)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140310_C4277_PHOTO_EN_37744.jpg
Image with caption: "RBC Taylor Prize 2014 winner was announced today. Thomas King won the annual non-fiction prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Pictured Thomas King. (CNW Group/RBC Taylor Prize)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140310_C4277_PHOTO_EN_37741.jpg
Image with caption: "RBC Taylor Prize 2014 winner was announced today. Thomas King won the annual non-fiction prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Pictured Thomas King. (CNW Group/RBC Taylor Prize)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140310_C4277_PHOTO_EN_37742.jpg
Image with caption: "RBC Taylor Prize 2014 winner was announced today. Thomas King won the annual non-fiction prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Thomas King holds trophy. (CNW Group/RBC Taylor Prize)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140310_C4277_PHOTO_EN_37743.jpg
SOURCE: RBC Taylor Prize
For further information:
Stephen Weir & Associates, Publicists, RBC Taylor Prize
Stephen Weir: Direct: 416.489.5868 | cell: 416.801.3101 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Crane: Direct: 416.727.0112 | email@example.com