Three books have been shortlisted for the 2019 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.
The $10,000 award, administered by Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, honours writers for a first or second work of creative non-fiction that features a Canadian locale and/or significance. The winner will be announced later this month.
The finalists are:
- Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men, Daemon Fairless (Random House Canada)
- Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road, Kate Harris (Knopf Canada)
- Heart Berries: A Memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot (Doubleday Canada)
Harris’s book about travelling the fabled Silk Road has already won the RBC Taylor Prize and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Mailhot’s coming-of-age memoir in which she reveals how writing helped her overcome trauma won the Blue Metropolis First Peoples Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Governor General’s Literary Award.
Bruce Gillespie, an award juror and a digital media and journalism professor at Laurier, said in a press release: “The books on this year’s shortlist are all quite different. But what they share is the ability to transport readers so deeply into the worlds they describe, whether that is the exterior world of a bicycle trek through some of the planet’s most unforgiving environments or the interior worlds of men in the grip of violent urges or a woman trying to reconcile with her traumatic past. They are all engrossing, illuminating reads that will keep you glued to the page and linger in your mind long after after you’ve finished them.”