TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - The winner of the 2016 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature at McGill was announced tonight at a gala awards dinner held in Toronto. Now in its ninth year, the Cundill Prize is one of the world's most lucrative international awards for a nonfiction book. The Work of the Dead took home the top prize of US$75,000.
Thomas W. Laqueur's The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources -- from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes.
There were three international finalists in the running for this year's prize, Thomas W. Laqueur for his book, The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press), David Wootton for The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution (HarperCollins) and Andrea Wulf's book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World (Alfred A. Knopf, John Murray Publishers).
In addition to the winner, the two remaining finalists were each awarded a "Recognition of Excellence" prize of US$10,000. The finalists were selected from 182 submissions received from publishers worldwide.
"The contribution Thomas Laqueur's book makes to our understanding of the role the dead play in life is hugely important. It is a book that will fascinate readers both within and outside the academy," said Professor Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University.
This year's Cundill jury includes Timothy Brook, Republic of China Chair, University of British Columbia; John Darwin, Professor of Global and Imperial History and Director, Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford; and Anna Porter, Co-founder, Key Porter Books and author (Buying a Better World: George Soros and Billionaire Philanthropy, The Ghosts of Europe). The Cundill Prize thanks sponsors Burgundy Asset Management, JC Clark Investments and Russell Investments. The Walrus Foundation is a proud media sponsor.
About the Prize: The Cundill Prize is the world's most important international prize for non-fiction historical literature. It was established in 2008 by McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill, who passed away in January 2011. The prize is administered by McGill University's Dean of Arts, with assistance from the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), and is awarded annually to an individual who has published a book that has made a profound literary, social, and academic impact in the area of history.
About the Walrus Foundation:
The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for conversations on matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms: publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year, in print, tablet, and mobile editions; curating the national series of Walrus Talks and leadership dinners; posting original, high-quality content daily at thewalrus.ca; and through other digital projects. The foundation also trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.
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