2016 Finalist

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary

Jury Citation

“Sonja Larsen did not have the typical Canadian childhood, coming of age as she did in communes and cults, raised on the shoulder of hitchhiked roads and in the midst of would-be revolutions. In Red Star Tattoo, she captures the sad absurdity of her upbringing in a voice that’s both courageous and compelling. Her story of surviving neglect, abuse, brainwashing, and also her own longing to be part of something politically grand is told without an iota of bitterness or self-pity. In the end, Larsen offers a glimpse not only of forces that can seduce the young to embrace countercultures, but of those that shaped her own remarkable resilience.” – 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Carolyn Abraham, Stephen Kimber, and Emily Urquhart)