2014 winner Naomi Klein and Hon. Hilary M. Weston. Photo by Tom Sandler
Hon. Hilary M. Weston and the Writers’ Trust Present $60,000 Literary Award to Naomi Klein for “Groundbreaking” Book about Climate Change
October 14, 2014 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced tonight that Naomi Klein has won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate published by Knopf Canada. The prize is the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada.
The prize was awarded by the Hon. Hilary M. Weston in Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario at a salon-style gathering of more than 200 members of the literary, philanthropic, and arts communities. Renowned Canadian performers enlivened the evening with dramatic readings of the nominated titles. The event was hosted by Shelagh Rogers, broadcast journalist and host of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter. In addition to the $60,000 prize, Klein received a sculpture created by crystal artist Mark Raynes Roberts.
Prize finalists were selected by a jury composed of Charles Foran, whose biography Mordecai won the prize in 2011; Priscila Uppal, a writer and creative writing professor; and nonfiction writer Merrily Weisbord. In selecting the winner these jurors were joined by Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National; and Deepa Mehta, award-winning film director and screenwriter. Their citation reads:
This groundbreaking book’s exploration of climate change from the perspective of how capitalism functions produces fresh insights, and its examination of the interconnectedness between our relationship with nature and the creation of better, fairer societies presents a radical proposal. The author’s urgency and outrage is balanced by meticulous documentation and passionate argument. Heart and mind go hand in hand in this magisterial response to a present crisis.
Naomi Klein is a journalist and social activist. Her first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was translated into more than 25 languages and was hailed by the New York Times as “a movement bible.” Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was also published worldwide. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for the Nation and the Guardian. Klein is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, an organization building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. She lives in Toronto.
Four finalists for this year’s prize received $5,000 each:
Susan Delacourt for Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them
(Douglas & McIntyre)
Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Paula Todd for Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online
(McClelland & Stewart/Signal)
Kathleen Winter for Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage
(House of Anansi Press)
“This year's finalists have tackled big ideas and critical issues, presenting them in original and vital voices and supported by exceptional levels of research,” said Mrs. Weston. “Their work demonstrates the importance of literary nonfiction to present both the subjects that must shape our conversations and the stories that will inspire us to discover more.”
The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize is grateful to Loblaw Companies Ltd. for making the five prize finalists titles available in select Loblaw banner stores nationwide. A list of Loblaw banner stores across Canada is available here.
The nominated works are also available on the iBooks store at www.itunes.com/WestonPrize.
Support for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize is provided by media partner CBC Books. Additional support is provided by Indigo Chapters.
About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt
The Hon. Hilary M. Weston served as the 26th lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. As the Queen’s representative in Ontario, Mrs. Weston was responsible for the Crown’s constitutional and representational roles in the province. Since leaving public office, Mrs. Weston has continued to pursue her diverse interests. She led Renaissance ROM, the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian cultural history, transforming the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She is a trustee of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and serves on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mrs. Weston is also a corporate director of Wittington Investments and Selfridges Group Ltd. She has also served as deputy chair of the board of Holt Renfrew, promoting Canadian designers in the retailing business.
Mrs. Weston founded the Ireland Fund of Canada and remains a patron of this non-denominational organization promoting peace in Ireland. Her interests in homes and gardens resulted in the publication of In a Canadian Garden (1989) and At Home in Canada (1995). She served as first chancellor of the Order of Ontario, was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003, and is the recipient of six honorary degrees.
About the Prize
The prize 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.
About the Writers’ Trust
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including ten national literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502