Several familiar names are vying for this year’s RBC Taylor Prize, which celebrates excellence in literary non-fiction.
Former Globe and Mail foreign correspondent Graeme Smith continues to dominate with The Dogs Are Eating Them Now, a memoir about his time covering the Afghanistan war. In October, Smith won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize, and the book is nominated for the B.C. National Non-fiction Award. Smith’s fellow B.C. National Award nominees J.B. MacKinnon (The Once and Future World) and Thomas King (The Inconvenient Indian) are also shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize.
This year’s jury, comprising British-based Canadian literature professor Coral Ann Howells, editor James Polk, and 2012 Taylor Prize winner Andrew Westoll, reviewed 124 books submitted by 45 publishers.
The shortlist, narrowed down from 12 titles, is as follows:
- The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country, Charlotte Gray (HarperCollins Canada)
- The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, Thomas King (Doubleday Canada)
- The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, J.B. MacKinnon (Random House Canada)
- The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, Graeme Smith (Knopf Canada)
- Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life, David Stouck (Douglas & MacIntyre)
In December, the $25,000 national award, formerly known as the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, rebranded and announced a new $10,000 prize for an emerging writer to be selected by the RBC Taylor Prize winner.
Both prizes will be presented March 10 at a ceremony in Toronto.