5 books make the RBC Taylor Prize shortlist

A powerful Holocaust memoir and a biography of Italian inventor Marconi are among the finalists for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize.
Matti Friedman is the author of Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli's Soldier's Story. (Signal/

The RBC Taylor Prize, an annual award that honours the best in Canadian nonfiction with a $25,000 prize, has announced its 2017 shortlist.

The five finalists are:

  • Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story of a Forgotten War by Matti Friedman
  • Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy
  • This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications by Diane Schoemperlen
  • By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen
  • Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King

This marks a second major award nomination for Friedman, Raboy and King. Both Pumpkinflowers and Mad Enchantment were nominated for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Meanwhile, Raboy's Marconi was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction.

The winner of the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize will be announced on March 6, 2017. This year's jury panel consists of historian John English, journalist Ann MacMillan and novelist Colin McAdam.

The winner of the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize was Rosemary Sullivan for her biography Stalin's Daughter.