Finalists named for $40K B.C. non-fiction prize
A tree-planting memoir by Vancouver writer Charlotte Gill and a first-person account of living with a son with autism by Montreal writer Joel Yanofsky are in the running for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
Four finalists for the $40,000 award, one of Canada’s most important prizes for non-fiction writing, were announced Thursday in Vancouver. The short list was drawn from 134 books.
Gill’s Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers Trust Non-fiction Prize earlier this year.
Gill tells the boom and bust history of logging and its environmental impact through the lens of her own experience as a tree-planter, a job she did for 17 years.
Yanofsky's memoir Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism, won the Mavis Gallant non-fiction award in Quebec. His book describes his quest for treatment for his son Jonah and how he learned to cope with his boy’s uncertain future.
The other finalists:
- Human Happiness by Toronto writer Brian Fawcett: an examination of two strangers the author knew all his life – his parents and the paths they found towards happiness.
- The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery by Andrew Westoll, a primatologist who writes about work in a Quebec sanctuary for chimpanzees rescued from an American biomedical research lab.
Jury members include Paul Whitney, a retired city librarian, Patricia Graham, vice president of digital for Pacific Newspaper Group and author Shari Graydon. The award winner will be announced in February.