RBC Taylor Prize 2018 Jurors Christine Elliott, Anne Giardini, and James Polk have announced the longlist for the seventeenth awarding of Canada’s most prestigious non-fiction prize. Among the longlisted titles 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.
Established in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation and first awarded in 2000, 2018 marks the seventeenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. The jurors read a record breaking 153 non-fiction books submitted by 110 Canadian and international publishers. Other longlisted titles include Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga and Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk.
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.
Of the book, the jury wrote: “Jan Wong proves in this book that the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ needs expanding. We are what we eat, and who we make it with, and who we eat it with, and what ingredients we use, and what recipes we follow, and where in the world our table is located. In this book Jan Wong focuses her laser beam scrutiny on domestic life and comestibles in three different countries, and delivers shrewd home truths on how we sustain and nourish ourselves.”
The RBC Taylor Prize shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday, February 26, 2018.
The Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) Literary Awards announced the winners of their award categories at the QWF’s 19th annual gala. Taking home the Concordia University First Book Prize was Goose Lane Editions author Jocelyn Parr and her stunning debut novel, Uncertain Weights and Measures.
Uncertain Weights and Measures, first published in September 2017, takes place in the heady days of post-Revolution Russia. Montreal writer Jocelyn Parr vividly captures the atmosphere of 1920s Moscow and the frisson of real-life events while also spinning a captivating tale of a love torn apart by ideology and high-stakes politics in this deftly written novel. Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels marvelled at Parr’s characters that “seem to move under the surface of the page—breathing, changing, flawed, and resilient.”
Also shortlisted for the award were Ariela Freedman’s Arabic for Beginners and J. Jacob Potashnik’s The Golem of Hampstead and Other Stories.
The Fiddlehead, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary publications, and the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick have announced the shortlisted titles for the 2017 New Brunswick Book Awards.