Writers’ Trust Announces Year’s Best Political Books
Shortlist examines great Canadian political lives, environmental policy
March 2, 2016 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has named the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner will be announced in Ottawa on April 20, 2016, at the Politics and the Pen Gala.
Finalist books include a biography of an ambitious Liberal reformer; a portrait of one of the country’s most influential public servants; a profile of Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister; a treatise on Big Oil and the fracking industry; and an argument for climate change as a human rights issue in Canada’s North.
The finalists, selected by a jury composed of Canadian military historian Tim Cook, author and Globe and Mail journalist Robyn Doolittle, and McGill University professor and political commentator Antonia Maioni, are:
Greg Donaghy for Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr., published by UBC Press
Norman Hillmer for O.D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition, published by University of Toronto Press
John Ibbitson for Stephen Harper, published by Signal/McClelland & Stewart
Andrew Nikiforuk for Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry, published by Greystone Books and the David Suzuki Institute
Sheila Watt-Cloutier for The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet, published by Allen Lane
The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by Aimia and supported by the Politics and the Pen Gala. Read more information on this year’s finalists, or download images of the nominated authors and their books.
About the Prize
Now in its sixteenth year, the prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.
The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario.
About Politics and the Pen
Politics and the Pen is a highlight of the capital’s social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the Writers’ Trust. Held at the Fairmont Château Laurier, the event attracts 500 guests from Canada’s political and literary circles. Three platinum sponsors are crucial to the night’s success – dinner sponsor Microsoft Canada, reception sponsor CIBC, and prize sponsor Aimia. To date, Politics and the Pen has raised more than $3 million to support the programs of the Writers’ Trust.
About the Writers’ Trust
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502