Journalist Deborah Campbell is the winner of this year’s Freedom to Read Award. The prize is administered by the Writers’ Union of Canada in honour of Freedom to Read Week, which runs Feb. 26–March 4.
Campbell’s memoir A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Knopf Canada) was selected for its illustration of refugee life, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the work of war-zone fixers. In 2016, the book received the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction and was nominated for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction.
Writers’ Union chair George Fetherling says in a press release:
Whether she is writing about war artists, international care-givers, the bafflingly complex politics of nuclear arms, or the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East, she does not shy from controversy, and is devoted to letting all voices find a place on her page. The jury was unanimous in its choice of Ms. Campbell.