The 2009 shortlist for Canada’s largest literary non-fiction award, the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, was announced today by Premier Gordon Campbell and BC Achievement Foundation chair Keith Mitchell. The four finalists contending for the $40,000 prize are:

  • Daphne Bramham for “The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada’s Polygamous Mormon Sect” (Random House Canada)
  • Mary Henley Rubio for “Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings” (Doubleday Canada)
  • Christopher Shulgan for “The Soviet Ambassador: The Making of the Radical Behind Perestroika” (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Russell Wangersky for “Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself” (Thomas Allen Publishers)

The shortlist was selected from a field of 163 nominated titles. Eligible books were authored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and were published between November 1, 2007 and October 31, 2008. With a prize of $40,000 and national scope, the B.C. Award is the richest non-fiction book prize in Canada and the non-fiction counterpart to the Giller Prize for fiction and the Griffin Poetry Prize. The winner of the B.C. National Award for Non-Fiction will be announced February 2, 2009 at a presentation ceremony in Vancouver. For more information on the award and this year’s finalists including copies of the book covers and author photos check out the BC National Award for Canadian non-fiction website.

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