The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction announces its 2008 Shortlist

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - The names of the finalists for the 2008 Charles
Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction were announced today at a morning press
conference held at downtown Toronto's Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel.
Noreen Taylor, founder of the prize and chair of the Charles Taylor
Foundation, welcomed an audience of publishers, media and booksellers,
announcing that the jury had received a record 137 books, submitted by 30
publishers from all across Canada. Mrs. Taylor went on to introduce author and
2008 prize juror Charlotte Gray, who spoke on behalf of the jury and announced
the authors shortlisted for the 2008 prize.


    Kevin Bazzana for Lost Genius: The Story of a Forgotten Musical Maverick,
    published by McClelland & Stewart

    The jury notes, "In the meticulously-researched Lost Genius, Kevin
Bazzana brings back to life a forgotten and deeply disturbed musician of
extraordinary talent. Thanks to the author's elegant writing skills,
psychological insight and musical knowledge, the reader is captured by both
the portrait of this bizarre individual, and the story of evolving musical
tastes during the twentieth century."

    David Gilmour for The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and Son,
    published by Thomas Allen Publishers

    The jury notes, "With sensitivity, but without sentimentality, David
Gilmour explores the intense and dangerously fragile relationship between a
father and his adolescent son, with movies as the metaphor for engagement with
adult life. In prose that is spare and clear, The Film Club exposes the
vulnerability of both parent and child as each strains to stay connected yet
remain apart."

    Lorna Goodison for From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her
    People, published by McClelland & Stewart

    The jury notes, "With her poet's eye for enduring truths, Lorna Goodison
has written that most rare of books: a joyous memoir that finds marvels in
adversity. In language as lush as the landscape of her early life, as profound
as the childhood river whose waters hid secrets, Goodison plunges into family
mythology to find herself in the stories of many, and in so doing reveals the
ways in which history and place shape each one of us."

    Richard Gwyn for John A.: The Man Who Made Us: The Life and Times of
    John A. Macdonald, Volume One: 1815 - 1867, published by Random House

    The jury notes, "In a lively but thorough biography of John A. Macdonald
up to the day of Confederation in 1867, Richard Gwyn brings to life the young
Scottish-born lawyer who found himself unexpectedly entering politics in
Kingston in 1844. Gwyn writes from a twenty-first century perspective while
painting for his readers a vivid image of nineteenth century Canada: its
society, customs, characters and politics. Gwyn helps us understand
Macdonald's genius and vision, which would shape the nation that grew to the
north of the United States."

    Anna Porter for Kasztner's Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner,
    Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, published by Douglas & McIntyre

    The jury notes, "Urgently told and exhaustively researched, Kasztner's
Train revisits the story of a man discarded by history for his efforts to save
Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust through intimate dealings with the Nazi
regime. Anna Porter moves beyond the easy, good-versus-evil judgments of
gentler times to explore the extraordinary risks and dilemmas of attempting to
live by conscience in extremis; her insights into a brutal past cast valuable
light on the challenges of today."

    The jurors for the 2008 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction are
author Charlotte Gray (Ottawa, Ontario), author J.B. MacKinnon (Vancouver,
British Columbia) and the Honourable John Manley (Ottawa, Ontario).
    The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are Michael Bradley
(Toronto, Ontario), Judith Mappin (Montreal, Quebec), David Staines (Ottawa,
Ontario) and Noreen Taylor (Toronto).
    The seventh Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction will be awarded
on March 3, 2008 in commemoration of Charles Taylor, one of Canada's foremost
essayists and a prominent member of the Canadian literary community, to the
author whose book best demonstrates and combines an uncommon command of the
English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and
perception. The prize consists of $25,000 for the winning author, $2,000 for
the finalists, as well as promotional support to help all shortlisted books
stand out in the national media, bookstores, and libraries.
    The prize finalists will be brought to Toronto and invited to speak about
their writing at a special installment of the Globe and Mail/Ben McMcNally
Brunch series event on Sunday, March 2, 2008 and to remain in Toronto to
participate in the Awards Ceremony and Gala Luncheon on Monday, March 3, 2008.
    CBC Radio One's Ontario Today with host Rita Celli will present a
two-hour live broadcast of the Awards Ceremony beginning at 12 noon on Monday,
March 3, 2008. To listen via the internet go to and
click on "listen live".
    The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is presented by the
Charles Taylor Foundation with the support of their partners: AVFX, Ben
McNally Books, BookTelevision, Bravo!, CBC Radio One, Canada Newswire (CNW),
Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, and Windfields Farm.
    For more information please visit:
    To Download high resolution images of the finalists and their books
please go to:

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Stephen Weir & Associates,
Stephen Weir: (416) 489-5868, cell: (416) 801-3101,;
Linda Crane: (905) 257-6033, cell: (416) 727-0112,; June
Dickenson: (647) 477-6000, cell: (905) 541-4556,

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