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Charles Taylor Prize nominees in the 11th hour

Photo by Laura Godfrey

(L-R) Ian Brown (The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search For His Disabled Son), John English (Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000), Daniel Poliquin (René Lévesque), and Kenneth Whyte (The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst). On Sunday morning, just 24 hours before the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction was set to be announced, Toronto bookseller Ben McNally hosted his annual Books and Brunch event to honour this years four nominees. In a tradition he has continued since the very first Charles Taylor Prize was awarded in 2000, book lovers gathered at the King Edward Hotel to enjoy a meal and hear each nominee speak about the writing process.

Photo by Laura Godfrey

To kick off the event, Ben McNally introduced prize trustee Noreen Taylor, who established the prize to honour her late husband. I’m going to try not to get really teary-eyed here, but this prize means a lot to me, McNally said during the event. When I split from my former employer “ who will remain nameless “ the Taylor Prize stood by me, and that really means a lot. The relationship I have with the trustees, and most specifically Noreen Taylor, are relationships that I cherish deeply. Charles Taylor himself was a customer of mine and I can think of no more fitting memorial to his extraordinary life than this prize and all that it stands for. (Photos by Laura Godfrey)