2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Carol Off All We Leave Behind
Carol Off
All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others
Random House Canada

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Carol Off

“After a 2002 CBC documentary on Afghan warlords exposes Carol Off’s source, Asad Aryubwal, to the wrath of Afghanistan’s new power brokers, he and his family are forced to flee.  

All We Leave Behind follows the desperate family as they become caught up in the largest refugee crisis since the 1940s. With clear, page-turning prose, Off embarks on a rigorous and honest examination of her role in the family’s fate, first as a journalist, but ultimately as a friend, when she crosses the line of dispassionate reportage and becomes deeply involved in their bid to reach Canada. The book is an insightful contemplation of journalism’s mission, and its impact on the lives of the people who dare to speak out in the name of truth.”

-2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury Susan Harada, Arno Kopecky, and Siobhan Roberts.

About the Book

In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal became a key figure in their documentary on the terrible power of thuggish warlords who were working arm in arm with Americans and NATO troops. When Asad publicly exposed the deeds of one of the warlords, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, it set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina, and their five children had to flee their home. Carol Off's powerful account traces not only one family's journey and fraught attempts to immigrate to a safe place, it also illustrates what happens when a journalist becomes irrevocably caught up in the lives of the people in her story and finds herself unable to leave them behind.

About the Author

Carol Off is the host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens. She has covered conflicts in the Middle East, Haiti, the Balkans, and the sub-continent, as well as events in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, the United States, and Canada. She has won numerous awards for her CBC television documentaries and was a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the National Business Book Award for Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet. Off lives in Toronto.




Woodcock Fund



Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


May 16 for books published between Mar 14 and May 15, 2018


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