The Fiddlehead and the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick have announced the shortlisted titles for the third annual New Brunswick Book Awards. Among the shortlisted titles in the non-fiction category is award-winning journalist and bestselling author Jan Wong’s Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy, and China, published by Goose Lane Editions.
Jan Wong’s Apron Strings is shortlisted alongside Fredericton author Tony Robinson-Smith’s The Dragon Run: Two Canadians, Ten Bhutanese, One Stray Dog (University of Alberta Press) and Saint John author Rachel Bryant’s The Homing Place (Wilfrid Laurier University Press). Judging the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction is award-winning author, journalist, and teacher Andrew Westoll.
“Maybe the world could use one more culinary memoir, after all. Possibly even more, if they’re all as good as this one.”
– Toronto Star
Jan Wong knows food is better when it’s shared, so when she set out to research home cooking in several countries known for their distinctive cuisine, she asked her 22-year-old son, Sam, to join her. A memoir about family, an exploration of the globalization of food cultures, and a meditation on the complicated relationships between mothers and sons, Apron Strings is complex, unpredictable, and unexpectedly hilarious. The book was longlisted for the prestigious 2018 RBC Taylor Prize.
“Wong’s keen journalistic eye makes for a fascinating, fact-filled journey from farmhouses in Drôme-Provençal to upscale condos in Shanghai.”
– Winnipeg Free Press
The program celebrates books published in the 2017 calendar year in four categories: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s writing (picture books). The book awards program represents a partnership between Canada’s oldest literary magazine, The Fiddlehead, which has nurtured New Brunswick's literary culture for 70 years, and the Writers’ Federation, which for 30 years has passionately supported the development of home-grown writers at all stages of development.
The winners will be announced at a celebration, honouring writing and illustration excellence, on Friday June 8, at the Lily Lake Pavilion in Saint John. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the awards presentation at 7 p.m.
About Jan Wong
Jan is the author of five non-fiction bestsellers, including Out of the Blue and Red China Blues, which was named one of Time magazine’s top ten non-fiction books of 1996. (Twenty years later, the book is still in print.) She has won numerous journalism awards (too many to mention) and is now a professor of journalism at St. Thomas University. A third-generation Canadian, Jan Wong is the eldest daughter of a prominent Montreal restaurateur.
To learn more about Apron Strings, visit