Writers' Trust Raises The Ghosts of Europe: Anna Porter wins the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

OTTAWA, Feb. 16 /CNW/ -The Writers' Trust of Canada announced tonight at the Politics and the Pen Gala that Anna Porter has won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for The Ghosts of Europe: Journeys Through Central Europe's Troubled Past and Uncertain Future, published by Douglas & McIntyre.

The $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by CTV Inc. and supported by the Politics and the Pen Gala.

A jury composed of journalists L. Ian MacDonald, Rosemary Speirs, and Paul Wells selected the winner. Their citation reads:

From the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself, the former Warsaw Pact states of Central Europe re-gained their independence from Moscow. In Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, newly liberated voices became the sentinels of nascent democracies. Even under the Soviet yoke, these countries never lost their nationhood, but two decades later still struggle "under the weight of history and memory." In Anna Porter, we are in the presence not only of a journalist on a personal odyssey back to her own origins in Communist Hungary, but of a gifted storyteller who shapes a historically consequential narrative.

Anna Porter was born in Budapest, Hungary, educated in New Zealand, and moved to Canada in 1970. She is the author of Kasztner's Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, which won the 2007 Nereus Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, as well as three novels and a memoir. She co-founded Key Porter Books and remains one of Canada's most respected book publishers with more than 30 years of experience. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and lives in Toronto with her husband Julian Porter.

Four finalists for this year's prize received $2,500 each:

Tim Cook for The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie, published by Allen Lane Canada

Shelagh D. Grant for Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America, published by Douglas & McIntyre

Lawrence Martin for Harperland: The Politics of Control, published by Viking Canada

Doug Saunders for Arrival City: The Final Migration and our Next World, published by Knopf Canada

For more information on this year's finalists and to download high-resolution images of the nominated authors and their books, visit writerstrust.com.

About the Prize

Now in its eleventh year, the prize is awarded annually to a non-fiction book that captures a political subject of interest to Canadian readers and enhances our understanding of the issue. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. Strong consideration is given to books that, in the opinion of the jury, have the potential to shape or influence Canadian political life.

About Shaughnessy Cohen
The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.

About Politics and the Pen
Politics and the Pen is the highlight of the capital's winter social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the Writers' Trust. The evening raised a total of $240,000. Held at the Fairmont Château Laurier, the event attracted 500 guests from the city's political and literary circles. Microsoft Canada sponsors the Politics and the Pen dinner, and MTS Allstream Inc. sponsors the Politics and the Pen pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions.

About the Writers' Trust
The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that supports Canadian writers and writing through various programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers' retreat. Canada's writers receive more financial support from the Writers' Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. For more information visit writerstrust.com.

SOURCE The Writers' Trust of Canada

For further information:

For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
National Media:Becky Toyne (416-871-0502, btoyne@writerstrust.com)
Ottawa Media:Stephanie Farrington (613-263-1350, stephanie.farrington@gmail.com)

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