Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prize watch: muffins and bagels!

Governor General's Award nominations were announced this morning.  I was about to mention one or two histories in the non-fiction shortlist...

...  until I learned my From Then To Now is shortlisted in the Children's Literature category.

Maybe you recall the scene from West Wing when Josh Lyman, having achieved some minor triumphs, stalks the corridors proclaiming, "Bring us the finest bagels and muffins in the land!"  Yes.

Meanwhile, the non-fiction nominees are:

  • Nathan M. Greenfield for The Damned: The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45 
  • Richard Gwyn for Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, Volume Two: 1867-1891, 
  • Charles Foran,  Mordecai: The Life & Times, 
  • Andrew NikiforukEmpire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests,
  •  J.J. LeeThe Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit

Nikiforuk is a past winner, Foran was nominated in the past, and previous books by Greenfield, a journalist when he's not writing history have been highly praised.  Lee's book is a memoir.

Update, October 12:  In the non-fiction community, the main reaction to this list has been complaint that all five nominated books are written by men, chosen by a jury of two men and a woman.  Not a breath of that in the mainstream media, however.

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