Hilary Weston Writers' Trust  Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

Why Not

Ray Robertson
Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live


Ray Robertson

Jury Citation

A deceptively slim volume, Ray Robertson’s Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, packs a punch in fifteen essays that take the reader through an elegant meditation on almost all aspects of life, from Work and Humour to Meaning, Friendship, Solitude and eventually Death. Robertson seamlessly weaves his own journey growing up working class in Chatham, Ontario with larger meta-perspectives on each area under examination, drawing on a diverse range of sources, from the literature of the Romantic poets to the Roman philosophers. As its title promises, Why Not?, reminds the reader of life’s joys in a quiet yet powerful way.

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About the Book

The Globe and Mail recently counted Why Not?: Fifteen Reasons to Live among the “five Canadian books [that] should be on reading radars everywhere.” Ray Robertson, who suffered a depression of suicidal intensity after completing his sixth novel, explores two of life’s most central questions: What makes human beings happy? What makes a life worth living? In this collection of essays the author’s personal experiences and ideas are interwoven with those of various artists, philosophers, and thinkers.

About the Author

Ray Robertson is the author of six novels including Moody Food and What Happened Later, a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. He has also published a collection of nonfiction, Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing. He is a contributing book reviewer for The Globe and Mail. Robertson lives in Toronto.

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Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


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