Books

Michelle Good, Billy-Ray Belcourt among 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prize finalists

There are eight categories recognizing the work of British Columbia and Yukon writers and artists across genres, including fiction, nonfiction, picture books and more. The winner of each prize will receive $3,000.
Michelle Good and Billy-Ray Belcourt are among the writers shortlisted for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes. (Kent Wong, Tenille Campbell)

Michelle Good and Billy-Ray Belcourt are among the writers shortlisted for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes.

There are eight categories, recognizing the work of British Columbia and Yukon writers and artists across genres including fiction, nonfiction, picture books and more. The winner of each prize will receive $3,000.

Good is nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Jim Deva Prize for her debut novel Five Little Indians.

In Five Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie were taken from their families and sent to a residential school when they were very small. Barely out of childhood, they are released and left to contend with the seedy world of eastside Vancouver. Fuelled by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past. 

Belcourt is nominated for Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the Jim Deva Prize for his memoir A History of My Brief Body.

Belcourt was the youngest-ever winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. He was also the first First Nations Rhodes scholar from Canada. But he was once a young boy, growing up in Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta. A History of My Brief Body tells his story: how his family was impacted by colonialism and intergenerational trauma and yet still hold joy and love in their hearts and lives, how he came into his queer identity and how writing became both a place of comfort and solace and a weapon for a young man trying to figure out his place in the world.

Benjamin Perrin is the only other writer to be nominated for multiple prizes. He is a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and Jim Deva Prize for his nonfiction book Overdose.

Overdose looks at today's opioid crisis, and attempts to understand why and how people become addicted to fentanyl, how our medical system has failed them, and what solutions will actually work. Perrin interviewed those at the front lines of the crisis — police officers, health care workers, prosecutors and more — to paint a portrait of a crisis that not only needs to be dealt with, but is poorly understood by the public.

You can see all the BC and Yukon Book Prize finalists below.

The Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize is for the best work of literary fiction. The finalists are:

The Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize is for the best work of literary nonfiction. The finalists are:

The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize is for the best work of poetry. The finalists are:

The Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize is for the best illustrated children's book. The finalists are:

The Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize is for the "best non-illustrated children's book. The finalists are:

The Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes is for a book that "challenges and provokes ideas." The finalists are:

The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize is for a book that "contributes to the enjoyment and understanding of B.C." The finalists are:

  • Orphans of Empire by Grant Buday
  • British Columbia in Flames by Claudia Cornwall
  • Kwanlin Dün by Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Following the Good River by Briony Penn with Cecil Paul
  • The Diary of Dukesang Wong by Dukesang Wong

The Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award is selected by local booksellers. The finalists are:

The winners will be announced on Sept. 18, 2021.

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