Plum Johnson wins $25K RBC Taylor Prize


Plum Johnson has won the $25,000 RBC Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction for her gripping family memoir They Left Us Everything.

Johnson, who was born in Richmond, Virginia, and spent her early years in Asia before her family immigrated to Ontario, beat out several acclaimed Canadian authors for the annual prize, including M.G. Vassanji (And Home Was Kariakoo), and Kathleen Winter (Boundless). Barbara Taylor (The Last Asylum) and David O'Keefe (One Day in August) were also on this year's shortlist.

The award was presented during a gala luncheon on Monday at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

They Left Us Everything was inspired by the death of Johnson's parents, and her task of sorting through their worldly possessions. As she revisits her memories and makes new discoveries, Johnson realizes that her parents may not have been who she thought they were.

Previous winners of the prestigious prize include Thomas King for The Inconvenient Indian (which is currently contended in Canada Reads 2015), Charles Foran for his biography of Mordecai Richler, and Carol Shields for her biography of Jane Austen.

You can read more about the 2015 shortlisted books here: