BC Achievement Foundation

BC Achievement Foundation

December 10, 2014 09:36 ET

BC Achievement Foundation: Finalists Named for 11th Annual BC National Non-Fiction Award

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2014) - The 2015 finalists for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction - one of the largest non-fiction book prizes in the country - was announced today by Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. The award carries a prize of $40,000.

Now in its 11th year, the annual award has featured such winners as Thomas King, Modris Eksteins, Charlotte Gill, John Vaillant, Ian Brown, Russell Wangersky, Lorna Goodison, Noah Richler, Rebecca Godfrey, and Patrick Lane.

This year's finalists are Karyn L. Freedman for One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery; Chantal Hébert with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day That Almost Was; Alison Pick for Between Gods: A Memoir; and James Raffan for Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic.

"This year's shortlisted books, as diverse as their subjects are, share the trait of being universally important and informative about the world we live in today," said Mitchell. "We thank the jury for their work in narrowing the field of 134 books nominated for this year's prize to these finalists."

The shortlist was chosen by jury members, Jared Bland currently the arts editor at The Globe and Mail and previously a senior editor at House of Anansi; John Fraser, a journalist and writer who served as master of Massey College from 1995 to 2014; and Anne Giardini, writer, director, lawyer and executive, and the Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.

The jury will announce the winner of the prize at a special presentation ceremony in Vancouver in February, 2014.

The finalists are described in the following citations from the jury:

Karyn L. Freedman for One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery
Freehand Books
Karyn L. Freedman's One Hour In Paris is a book about rape, but, more than that, it's a book about our collective failure to address the ways in which sexual violence shames and silences its victims and taints our society as a whole. With stylistic clarity, Freedman, a philosopher, offers a harrowing account of her assault and its repercussions, and then moves on to an analysis of why sexual violence is both pervasive and under-reported. One Hour in Paris is a slim book but a powerful one, and has the potential to catalyze the kind of dialogue that can lead to social change.

Chantal Hébert with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day That Almost Was
Knopf Canada
In asking the question no one really wanted to ask two decades ago - what would have happened if the "yes" side had won? - Chantal Hébert has not only sleuthed out the chaos that would have ensued following the 1995 referendum, she also trenchantly delineates an enduring warning to all politicians in Canada who might want to change the constitutional status quo without a coherent, principled strategy. In this clear-eyed, often gripping account of what was going on in the minds of the key players, and more ominously, what wasn't going on, Hébert and her collaborator Jean Lapierre have made a major contribution to our almighty national conundrum on what exactly constitutes Canada.

Alison Pick for Between Gods: A Memoir
Doubleday Canada
We live in a world in which differences in religious belief too often lead to dispute, war and mayhem. In her compelling book, Between Gods, Alison Pick asks and finds some measure of personal resolution to some of life's bigger questions. What do we believe or chose to believe? What does it mean to come from or join a religious tradition or community? What stories do we wish to tell ourselves and teach our children? Pick's has written a page-turner of a book, one that is humorous, personal and engaging. She is one of Canada's best storytellers, and in Between Gods she brings a discerning perspective to questions of soul and belonging.

James Raffan for Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic.
Harper Collins
James Raffan's Circling the Midnight Sun fully deserves recognition as a book that encourages important national conversations and expands our shared knowledge of the increasingly complex world we inhabit. Circling the Midnight Sun tells the compelling story of those who are most affected by climate change. Raffan takes us on a journey through some of the worlds' northernmost communities, from Iceland to Russia to Canada, and places in between. The Globe and Mail cited Circling the Midnight Sun as "a valuable opportunity to hear from the most vulnerable, but also the most resilient, residents of our planet. Far from being a cry of anger from a remote land, their message speaks to all of us who live with a changing climate that could soon mean big changes in our culture, too."

The BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction Award is an annual national prize presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of British Columbia in 2003 to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise, and community service.

For more information on the award and this year's finalists, please call 604 261-9777 or visit www.bcachievement.com.

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