Friday, January 11, 2013

Prize Watch: lots of history at The Charles Taylors

Quill and Quire reports the shortlist for the Charles Taylor Prize in non-fiction, which includes history and biography pretty much exclusively this year. Nominees are

  • Tim Cook for Warlords, his study of wartime prime ministers Borden and King; 
  • Carol Bishop-Gwyn's biography of Celia Franca, The Pursuit of Perfection; 
  • Ross King's Leonardo and the Last Supper;
  • Andrew Preston’s Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy;
  • Sandra Djwa’s Journey with No Maps, a biography of poet and painter P.K. Page.
Long ago I criticized the Taylor Prize (for "literary" nonfiction) for seeming to value fiction over nonfiction much of the time  They've gone a long way in the other direction this year, with a pretty seriously informational list. The jury this year is a novelist and a television producer and Richard Gwyn, who had to recuse himself from consideration of his wife Carol Bishop-Gwyn's book. Wonder how they will handle the voting on that one?