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2014 Shaughnessy Cohen Shortlist

Writers’ Trust Reveals Year’s Best Political Books

Shortlist explores climate change policy, Aboriginal matters, provincial politics

January 27, 2015 – 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 11, 2015, at the Politics and the Pen Gala.

Finalist books include an impassioned plea for the restoration of rational political thought; a what-if exploration of the 1995 Quebec referendum; an investigation into the culpability of our economic system in failed climate change policy; a fervent argument for Canadians to support the voices of Aboriginal peoples; and an authoritative account of Nova Scotia’s recent one-term majority NDP government. Each finalist will receive $2,500.

The finalists, selected by a jury comprising author Denise Chong, author and Ottawa Citizen columnist Terry Glavin, and The Globe and Mail Atlantic bureau chief Jane Taber, are:

Joseph Heath
 for Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives, published by HarperCollins Publishers

Chantal Hébert
with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was, published by Knopf Canada

Naomi Klein
 for This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate, published by Knopf Canada

John Ralston Saul
for The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence, published by Viking Canada

Graham Steele
 for What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise—and Collapse—of Nova Scotia’s NDP Government, published by Nimbus Publishing

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by Aimia 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 prize page.

About the Prize

Now in its fifteenth year, the prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.

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 a highlight of the capital’s social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the Writers’ Trust. Held at the Fairmont Château Laurier, the event attracts 500 guests from Canada’s political and literary circles. Microsoft Canada is the platinum dinner sponsor of Politics and the Pen. To date, the Politics and the Pen has raised more than $2.7 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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