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Shaughnessy COhen 2012 Shortlist


Writers’ Trust Announces Year’s Best Political Books - Cities on the move, nations in conflict, national health make up shortlist  

January 15, 2013 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has named the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner will be announced in Ottawa on March 6, 2013, at the Politics and the Pen Gala.

Finalists include a report on the communities alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel barriers that blight the world’s most disputed boundary walls; a plea for sensible mass transit policies in a time of urban density and resource scarcity; a polemic on how Canadians have allowed their self-perception to shift from peacekeeper to warrior nation; an examination of the seemingly insurmountable problems facing Canadian Medicare; and a history of Montreal’s contentious amalgamation saga and what it says about Quebec government and politics. Each nominated author will receive $2,500.

The finalists, selected by politician and political scientist Ed Broadbent, National Post and columnist Tasha Kheiriddin, and novelist and translator Daniel Poliquin, are:

Di CintioMarcello Di Cintio for Walls: Travels Along the Barricades
Published by Goose Lane Editions

GrescoeTaras Grescoe for Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

RichlerNoah Richler for What We Talk About When We Talk About War
Published by Goose Lane Editions

SimpsonJeffrey Simpson for Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century 
Published by Allen Lane Canada

TrentPeter F. Trent for The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal
Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by Bell Media and supported by the Politics and the Pen Gala. For more information on this year’s finalists and to download high-resolution images of the nominated authors and their books, visit the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Page.

About the Prize

Now in its thirteenth year, the prize is awarded annually to a nonfiction book that captures a political subject of interest to Canadian readers and enhances our understanding of the issue. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. Strong consideration is given to books that, in the opinion of the jury, have the potential to shape or influence Canadian political life.

About Shaughnessy Cohen

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.

About Politics and the Pen

Politics and the Pen is the highlight of the capital’s spring social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the Writers’ Trust. Held at the Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier, the event attracts 500 guests from the city’s political and literary circles. Microsoft Canada sponsors the Politics and the Pen dinner, and MTS Allstream Inc. sponsors the Politics and the Pen pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions. To date, the Politics and the Pen Gala has raised more than $2 million to support the programs of the Writers’ Trust.

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 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.


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