Elizabeth Hay and Darrel J. McLeod’s award-winning memoirs are among the five works shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, announced in Toronto on Jan. 9. The $25,000 prize is awarded to the best in Canadian literary non-fiction.
Hay’s All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir (McClelland & Stewart), about caring for her parents in their final years, won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction in November. McLeod’s Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre), a triumphant story of surviving childhood trauma despite personal and societal obstacles, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction.
Those high-profile titles will compete against Bill Gaston’s Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood (Hamish Hamilton), Ian Hampton’s Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music (Porcupine’s Quill), and Kate Harris’s Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road (Knopf Canada).
Each finalist will receive $5,000 and a leather-bound edition of their shortlisted book. In addition, the $25,000 winner will choose an emerging author to receive the sixth annual RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award, worth $10,000.
The jury for the 2019 prize consists of novelist Camilla Gibb, journalist Roy MacGregor, and former chief justice of Canada and crime novelist the Rt. Hon Beverley McLachlin.
The full shortlist includes:
- Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood, Bill Gaston (Hamish Hamilton)
- Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music, Ian Hampton (Porcupine’s Quill)
- Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road, Kate Harris (Knopf Canada)
- All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir, Elizabeth Hay (McClelland & Stewart)
- Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, Darrel J. McLeod
The RBC Taylor Prize will be presented at a gala luncheon on March 4 at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto.