The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction is awarded for literary excellence in the category of nonfiction, which includes, among other forms, personal or journalistic essays, history, biography, memoirs, commentary, and criticism, both social and political.
Finalist works will, in the opinion of the jury, demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. This award succeeds the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, which was established in 1997.
The finalists for 2014 are:
Shopping for Votes: how politicians choose us and we choose them by Susan Delacourt
“Inside the political backrooms of Ottawa, the Mad Men of Canadian politics are planning their next consumer-friendly pitch. Where once politics was seen as a public service, increasingly it’s seen as a business, and citizens are the customers. But its unadvertised products are voter apathy and gutless public policy. Susan Delacourt takes readers into the world of Canada’s top political marketers, from the 1950s to the present, explaining how parties slice and dice their platforms for different audiences and how they manage the media.” publisher
This Changes Everything: capitalism vs the climate by Naomi Klein
“Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed system and build something radically better. In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.” publisher
The Happy City: transforming our lives through urban design by Charles Montgomery
“Charles Montgomery’s Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life. After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks and condo towers an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl? The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities.” publisher
Extreme Mean: trolls, bullies and predators online by Paula Todd
“From one of Canada’s foremost investigative writers, a groundbreaking exposé on the motives and machinations behind cyberabuse – tormenting, trolling, harassment, cyberbullying, stalking, and sexual extortion – and the toll it is taking on children, youth, and adults around the world. It seems as if each week our news broadcasts, newspaper headlines, Twitter feeds, and Facebook timelines are dominated by stories of cyberbullying and other digital abuse. This isn’t the playground teasing and name-calling of generations before the Internet. This new abuse’s unique characteristics – anonymity, permanence, and viral audience – can relentlessly exacerbate the humiliation, pain, and danger of its victims. … Provocative, astute and compelling, Extreme Mean is a shocking yet inspiring illustration of behaviour that affects all of us. It’s a call-to-arms for change, and a search for ways to turn a moral panic into a moral possibility.” publisher
Boundless: tracing land and dream in a new Northwest Passage by Kathleen Winter
“In 2010, bestselling author Kathleen Winter took a journey across the storied Northwest Passage, among marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers. From Greenland to Baffin Island and all along the passage, Winter bears witness to the new math of the melting North — where polar bears mate with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles to navigate the tension between taking part in the new global economy and defending their traditional way of life. Throughout the journey she also learns from fellow passengers Aaju Peter and Bernadette Dean, who teach her about Inuit society, past and present. ” publisher