TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - This morning, at a news conference at Toronto's Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Noreen Taylor, prize founder and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation, announced that the jury - composed of award-winning author Andrew Cohen (Ottawa), Tim Cook (Ottawa), winner of the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and award-winning translator Sheila Fischman (Montréal) - read 125 Canadian-authored books, submitted by 34 publishers from across North America. Mrs. Taylor went on to introduce Mr. Cohen who made the following announcement before an audience of publishers, media, and booksellers:
The 2010 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction finalists are:
Ian Brown for The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search For His Disabled Son, published by Random House Canada.
The jury notes, "In telling the story of his son afficted with a rare, mysterious disease, Ian Brown takes us into a netherworld where medicine and morality meet. He recounts the quotidian struggles of Walker with artless candour, quirky humour and unsparing detail. Marshalling a journalist's investigative tools, Brown searches out the disabled and finds not only them, but a community of geneticists, neurologists, ethicists, and secular saints. His account of his journey is deeply discomfiting and deeply affecting. Along the way, Brown discovers himself - and the capacity for love."
John English for Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968 - 2000, published by Knopf Canada.
The jury notes, "Just Watch Me, the second of a two-volume biography, examines the leadership of Pierre Elliott Trudeau as he manages the threats to Canada's unity and prosperity in the last third of the twentieth century. A master of synthesis, John English brings the sharp eye and deft pen of the seasoned historian to his engaging interpretation of Canada's most provocative, if erratic, prime minister. Here is a memorable portrait of Trudeau at full flood - as nation-builder, strongman, electioneer, aesthete, intellectual, outdoorsman, husband, father, and lover - drawn with authority, humanity and sympathy."
Daniel Poliquin for René Lévesque, published by Penguin Canada.
The jury notes, "Daniel Poliquin offers an engaging portrait of René Lévesque: a nation-building hero to some, a nation-destroying villain to others. Richly insightful and deftly written, Poliquin pivots easily from the man and society, his enemies and friends, his victories and defeats, all the while capturing his complexity and conflicts. René Lévesque is a high-octane narrative."
Kenneth Whyte for The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst, published by Random House Canada.
The jury notes: "In masterful prose, Kenneth Whyte recounts the struggle between America's two greatest newspaper publishers, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Based on prodigious research and a deep understanding of late-nineteenth-century newspaper empires, he reveals how these megalomaniac millionaires reshaped the publishing world, capturing the conflict and struggle as they gambled with their fortunes to win readers and drive their enemies into bankruptcy. The Uncrowned King is a page-turner; readers will never look the same way at their daily newspapers."
The prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing. Since its inception the prize has fostered a growing interest in non-fiction, engaged Canadians in the genre of literary non-fiction, and boosted sales of the winning authors' books. Founded in commemoration of the late Charles Taylor, one of Canada's foremost essayists and a prominent member of the Canadian literary community, the prize is awarded 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 2010 prize finalists will be in Toronto for media days in mid-January and then again from February 6 - 8, 2010. On Sunday, February 7, they will speak about their writing at a special instalment of The Globe and Mail/Ben McNally Books brunch series event. The finalists will be honoured and the winner announced at a Gala Luncheon and Awards Ceremony the following day. Both the Sunday and Monday events will take place at Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. The prize consists of $25,000 for the winning author and $2,000 for each of the remaining finalists, as well as promotional and publicity support to help all of the shortlisted books stand out in the national media, bookstores, and libraries.
The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is presented by the Charles Taylor Foundation with the generous support of its partners: Ben McNally Books, Bravo! and Book Television, Canada Newswire (CNW), Event Source, Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Quill & Quire, The Globe and Mail, and Windfields Farm.
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