Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Prize Watch: No historians in the Weston running

The Writers' Trust has announced the shortlist for the Weston Nonfiction prize, and it's not a strong year for historians, let's say.

Nominee are Ivan Coyote for Tomboy Survival Guide (Arsenal Pulp Press), Kyo Maclear for Birds Art Life (Doubleday Canada), James Maskalyk for Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine (Doubleday Canada), Carol Off for All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others (Random House Canada), and Tanya Talaga for Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City (House of Anansi Press).

Strong this year are memoir (Coyote on a gender-fluid upbringing, Maclear on, well, what the title says, and Maskalyk on medical practice) and journalism (Off on her relations with an Afghan family, Talaga on the troubling deaths of indigenous youth in Thunder Bay).  I can think of at least a couple of big strong history titles with literary grace and cultural heft that might have been worthy of consideration, but that's for another prize-giving, I guess  I've read none of the Weston noms, but it testifies to interesting nonfiction writing going on.  Winner November 14th.


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