With past recipients including Richard Gwyn, Carol Shields, Ian Brown and Charles Foran, the annual Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction is one of the country's most prestigious awards.
Below are the five finalists for the $25,000 award. Click through the links to see interviews with the authors, video and audio clips, book reviews, and more. The 2012 Charles Taylor Prize winner will be announced on March 5, 2012.
Get to know the five shortlisted books better below.
Into The Silence by Wade Davis
Canada Writes: Wade Davis takes the Laferrière Questionnaire
George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: Wade Davis and the 'twilight shadow of hell'
Author essay: Wade Davis on climbing a literary Everest
Video: Wade Davis on his next project:
Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill
About the book: Charlotte Gill went through year of back-breaking work as a professional tree-planter, but came away with a book's worth of stories about this strange but special world. Described by the Charles Taylor Prize jury as "surprisingly unsentimental," Gill's memoir "shares her love for Canada's boreal forests, the tragedy of their disappearances and the gruelling work involved in replacing them." Read more >>
As It Happens: Charlotte Gill reads from Eating Dirt
Radio West: Charlotte Gill on tree-planting
North by Northwest: Charlotte Gill discusses Eating Dirt
CBC Books: Nora Young reads from Eating Dirt
Author essay: Charlotte Gill on becoming a tree planter
Video: Charlotte Gill on her next project:
The Measure of a Man by JJ Lee
About the book: The Measure of a Man offers a touching reflection on fathers and sons as well as a fascinating look at the social history of menswear. JJ Lee is a journalist and an amateur tailor, so when he decided to alter his late father's suit he set out to do the alterations himself and write about the experience. In the process, he found himself reflecting on the past and his relationship with his dad.
The Next Chapter: J.J. Lee's extended interview
Canada Writes: J.J. Lee on where you draw the line
North by Northwest: J.J. Lee speaks with Sheryl MacKayJ.J. Lee on his writing desk
Video: J.J. Lee on his next project:
Afflictions & Departures by Madeline Sonik
Author essay: Madeline Sonik on her book launch
Video: Madeline Sonik on her next project:
The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll
About the book: Fifteen years ago, a family of chimpanzees lived in a medical research facility. They were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment: they were confined to tiny cages, were isolated from family and loved ones, and were involuntary participants in medical experiments and experimental surgeries. They were eventually rescued and brought to Fauna Sanctuary, a refuge in Quebec. Journalist and former primatologist Andrew Westoll spent months volunteering there, and chronicles this remarkable journey in The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary.
The Sunday Edition: Andrew Westoll on treating rescused chimps
George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: Andrew Westoll on the chimps' great escape
Author essay: Andrew Westoll on living in a chimp house
Video: Andrew Westoll on his next project: