Acclaimed authors Esi Edugyan, Carmen Aguirre and Charlotte Gill are among those in the running for the B.C. Book Prize.
The West Coast Book Prize Society unveiled on Thursday the finalists vying for the 28th edition of the annual literary honour.
Edugyan leads the fiction nominees for her Giller Prize-winning novel Half-Blood Blues, which explores the story of a group of jazz musicians in 1940s Paris. Her competition includes:
- Michael Christie, The Beggar's Garden.
- Frances Greenslade, Shelter.
- Steven Price, Into That Darkness.
- D. W. Wilson, Once You Break a Knuckle.
Aguirre's memoir Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, the Canada Reads winner for 2012, is a finalist in the non-fiction category. The controversial tale recounts how her mother took the teenaged Aguirre from her Vancouver home and joined a revolutionary movement opposing Augusto Pinochet, leaving her to grow up in an atmosphere of political strife.
Her rival for the non-fiction prize includes Charlotte Gill's Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe, a vivid memoir of her 17 years as a tree-planter and an examination of the logging industry. In February, Gill's book won the prestigious B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
JJ Lee (The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son and a Suit), Gary Geddes (Drink the Bitter Root) and Theresa Kishkan (Mnemonic: A Book of Trees) round out the non-fiction contenders.
Other shortlisted writers include:
- Poetry Prize: Patrick Lane, The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane; Susan McCaslin, Demeter Goes Skydiving; Garry Thomas Morse, Discovery Passages; John Pass, crawlspace; Sharon Thesen, Oyama Pink Shale.
- Regional Prize: Chuck Davis, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver; Fred Herzog, Fred Herzog: Photographs; Andrew Nikiforuk, Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests; Sheryl Salloum, The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton; Scott Watson, Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and Their Contemporaries.
- Illustrated Children's Literature Prize: Dan Bar-el and Rae Maté, Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?; Nicola I. Campbell and Kim La Fave, Grandpa's Girls; Mike Deas, Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus; Robert Heidbreder and Marc Mongeau, Shake-Awakes; Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad, When I Was Small.
- Children's Literature Prize: Glen Huser, The Runaway; Pamela Porter, I'll Be Watching; Karen Rivers, What is Real; Caitlyn Vernon, Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest; Moira Young, Blood Red Road.
- Booksellers' Choice Award: Chuck Davis, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver; Charlotte Gill, Eating Dirt; Fred Herzog, Fred Herzog: Photographs; Gary Hynes, Island Wineries of British Columbia; Robert J. Wiersema, Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen.
The 2012 B.C. Book Prize winners, as well as the latest recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence, will be announced at an upcoming gala in Vancouver.