2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others, by Carol Off (Toronto), published by Random House Canada

Carol Off

All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others
Random House Canada

Carol Off

Jury Citation

All We Leave Behind chronicles reporter Carol Off’s efforts to bring Asad Aryubwal and his family to Canada after he became a target for retribution for speaking to her about the crimes of an Afghani warlord. Off details the hurdles faced over the family’s decade-long campaign to flee their increasingly hostile homeland and how their plight led her to break her own rules of journalistic detachment. At a time when the lines between news and activism are under public scrutiny, Off delivers a nuanced glimpse into how such potentially conflicting interests can play out behind the camera.

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 and has received numerous awards for her CBC television documentaries. She won British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Nonfiction and was nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and a Governor General’s Literary Award for All We Leave Behind. She has been shortlisted twice before for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Off lives in Toronto.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


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


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