THE LONGLIST FOR THE EIGHTEENTH RBC TAYLOR PRIZE



JURY CITATIONS
Mark Critch, Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir, Viking/Penguin Canada
Writer and comedian Mark Critch has written a charming, laugh-out-loud memoir of growing up in Newfoundland in the eighties. Son of a Critch is an affectionate account full of the absurdities and wonder of a child making sense of the world around him and finding himself as a performer in the process.
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Bill Gaston, Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Canada
Bill Gaston sets out on a solitary journey eighty miles across the Salish Sea in a boat he describes as “a piece of junk.” He’s heading back to the bittersweet place where he spent time as a child living aboard a boat with his father, learning to fish and learning to be wary of the fluctuations in his father’s moods when he drank. This is a quiet, meditative and tender-hearted exploration of childhood injury and its legacy across generations.
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Ian Hampton, Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music, Porcupine’s Quill
Cellist Ian Hampton has created a lyrical reflection on the world of music and classical composers and musicians in the seven decades since World War II. Beautifully written, the book is structured around thirty-five pieces of memorable music. In vivid strokes, Hampton introduces us to the great conductors, performers and composers he encountered as a musician in England, California and finally, the west coast of Canada. Along the way, he introduces us to some of the finest music the world has produced. By turns reflective and humorous, this beautifully paced book chronicles the trials and triumphs of a life devoted to music and defined by the people he worked with and loved.
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Kate Harris, Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Roads, Knopf Canada
From her vantage point of a student of the history of science, explorer and adventurer, Kate Harris presents a rare and unique vision of world, and explores the nature of boundaries. Unable to realize her childhood dream of travelling to Mars, she decides to trace Marco Polo’s Silk Road by bicycle. Vivid descriptions of the places and people she meets inspire deep and eclectic reflections on the nature of the world, wilderness, and the struggle of humans to define and limit them. This is a book that changes how one thinks about the world and the human compulsion to define it.
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Elizabeth Hay, All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir, McClelland & Stewart
In this brilliant and honest memoir, Elizabeth Hay traces the final decline of her parents — her father, a proud and ambitious school teacher possessed of a terrifying temper and moods of melancholy, and her mother, who kept the family peace and reconciled herself to life through painting. As she cares for her parents in their final days, Elizabeth - the difficult daughter - describes the truth of who they are and what they did. Tender, witty and brutally honest, the book tears open the cloak of shared secrecy to bare the dynamics of a family — the fears, sibling rivalries, joys, disappointments and grievances that have lain unacknowledged through the decades.
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David Johnston, Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country, Signal/M&S
In an era of “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” and even bald-faced lies from those who hold the highest positions of power, a book praising the worth of trust is most welcome — many would say necessary. Former Governor-General David Johnston takes a lovely, relaxed and ultimately convincing look at the value of trusting and earning trust. It should be a manual for every elected official in the world.
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Allan Levine, Seeking the Fabled City: The Canadian Jewish Experience, McClelland and Stewart
Allan Levine’s exhaustingly-researched account of 250 years of Jewish settlement in Canada is a tour de force both as a definitive history and a fascinating read. From major cities to the smallest prairie hamlets, from social and political obstacles to artistic and professional triumphs, Levine tells a compelling story that is, in its own way, a most significant and valued history of Canada.
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Robert Lewis, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press: The Battle for Truth on Parliament Hill, Dundurn Press
Former Maclean’s editor and long-time Parliament Hill reporter Robert Lewis offers a timely and welcome reminder of the importance of a free and challenging press in times of political change. Tracing the critical role of the media from Macdonald and Laurier to today, Lewis adroitly uses deep archival research and dozens of current interviews to show how the power-and-press relationship has changed – and not always for the better.
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Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir,Doubleday Canada
Heart Berries is an original and powerful work that explores the painful and complex relationship between trauma and identity in the life of an Indigenous woman. Driven by a raw and compelling intensity, Terese Marie Mailhot has written a memoir that is actively engaged with questions surrounding memory, voice and representation, challenging the reader and herself along the way.
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Darrel McLeod, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, Douglas & McIntyre
A torturously-beautiful memoir of growing up in a world of violence and family trauma. McLeod’s writing is lyrical and offers a powerful examination of contemporary issues, from sexual self-identification to the scars of residential school to the contemporary search for reconciliation. “Mamaskatch” means “shared dream” in Cree, and while there are unavoidable nightmares along the journey, there are also dreams of hope, at times of exquisite beauty and renewed pride.
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About the
2019 longlist

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KEY
DATES


LONGLIST
FOR THE
2019 PRIZE
ANNOUNCED

Wednesday,
December 5,
2018

SHORTLIST
FOR THE
2019 PRIZE
ANNOUNCED

Wednesday,
January 9,
2019

BEN
MCNALLY’S
AUTHORS BRUNCH

Sunday,
March 3,
2019

WINNER
FOR THE
2019 PRIZE ANNOUNCED

Monday,
March 4,
2019