Toronto writer Ian Brown won the $40,000 B.C. book prize for non-fiction. (CBC)

Toronto journalist Ian Brown has won British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, Canada's richest non-fiction prize.

Brown, a Globe and Mail writer, won for his moving story about life with his disabled son The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son.

Brown was presented with the $40,000 prize in Vancouver on Friday.

The other finalists, each of whom won $2,000, were:

  • Burmese Lessons: A Love Story by Karen Connelly.
  • The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece by Eric Siblin.
  • The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst by Kenneth Whyte. 

Brown and Whyte are also in the running for the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction, which will be awarded on Feb. 8.

The Boy in the Moon tells the story of Brown's son, Walker, who suffers a rare genetic condition that makes him unable to speak or eat.

The book undertakes "a journey … into deeply touching and troubling territory" as Brown grapples with the question of what his son is trying to show him, the jury wrote in its citation.

Jury members were broadcaster Andreas Schroeder, TV and radio personality Vicki Gabereau and writer Philip Marchand.   

The prize is sponsored by the B.C. Achievement Foundation.