Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500
Marcello Di Cintio
Walls: Travels Along the Barricades
Goose Lane Editions
When Ronald Reagan exhorted Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, it was not only a political act. As Marcello Di Cintio discovers, walls divide far more than nations. In this beautifully written reportage, the author brings readers the personal stories – gripping, haunting, humorous, and inspiring – of people living against walls around the world, from the “peaceline” of Belfast to the l’Acadie fence of Montreal.
About the Book
In an ambitious blend of travel and reportage, Marcello Di Cintio explores the world’s most disputed edges to meet with those who live alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel. He visits fenced-in villages in northeast India, walks Arizona’s migrant trails, and travels to Palestinian villages to witness the protests against Israel’s security barrier. From Native American reservations on the US-Mexico border and the “Great Wall of Montreal” to Cyprus’s divided capital and the sectarian divisions of Belfast, Di Cintio seeks to understand what these barriers reveal about their builders and how they influence the cultures they enclose.
About the Author
Marcello Di Cintio’s first book, Harmattan: Wind Across West Africa, won the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book, and his second book, Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran, won the Wilfred Eggleston Prize. He has written for numerous magazines, journals, and newspapers, including the Walrus, EnRoute, Geist, and the Globe and Mail. His latest book was longlisted for both the BC National Award for Canadian Non-fiction and the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife and son.
(Click on the covers for more info)
Taras Grescoe for Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Noah Richler for What We Talk About When We Talk About War
Published by Goose Lane Editions
Jeffrey Simpson for Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century
Published by Allen Lane Canada
Peter F. Trent for The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal
Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press
The finalists and eventual winner were selected by a jury of politician and political scientist Ed Broadbent, columnist Tasha Kheiriddin, and novelist and translator Daniel Poliquin. The prize was presented in Ottawa at Politics and the Pen on March 6, 2013.
About the Prize
Now in its twelfth year, the prize is awarded annually to a non-fiction book that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and enhances our understanding of the issue. Strong consideration is given to books that, in the opinion of the jury, have the potential to shape or influence Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit.
About Shaughnessy Cohen
The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.
Watch the video below to learn more.