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BC's 10th Canadian Award for Nonfiction

abstract:Attendance of the luncheon for the BC National Award for Nonfiction in Vancouver is one of the highlights of the year for a cross section of people. Publishers, educators, book store owners, book designers, literary agents, members of the arts community, and of course sophisticated book lovers all converge at a waterfront hotel in Vancouver to meet the shortlisted finalists for the prize. This is the 10th year of the prize, which awards $2500 to all shortlisted authors and $40,000 to the winner - the largest purse for an award in nonfiction in Canada.

This year the individual speeches given in support of nominees were prize-worthy in themselves. Essays summarizing the merits of each book and its relative contribution to the canon of Canadian literature drew audience appreciation as well as emotional responses from the respective authors.

Anthony Sheldon, Director of the UBC Museum of Anthropology introduced Carolyn Abraham and her book, "The Juggler’s Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us". Wade Davis, ethnographer named by National Geographic Society as an explorer for the Millennium introduced J.B. MacKinnon, "The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be". SFU's President Andrew Petter introduced Margaret MacMillan, "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914" and the (un-usual) 5th author candidate was Graeme Smith who's book"The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan" was the last of the shortlisted authors.

The winner was 2014's prestigious award is Thomas King for his exceptional book, "The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America" published by Double Day Canada, a 304 page-turner that is "wry and, at times, angry recounting of the relationship between first nations people and those who came after is remarkable work. Highly personal, yet remarkably well-researched and documented, he lays bare uncomfortable truths about history, politics and modern North American culture. Engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining, King’s iconoclastic and important book challenges us to think differently about both the past and the future."

"Thomas King is of Cherokee, Greek, and German descent and is currently chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. His short stories have been widely published throughout the United States and Canada, and a film, based on his much acclaimed first novel Medicine River, has been made for television.&emdash; NACNF


February 21, 2014



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