All five finalists for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize take to the stage for a lively round table discussion. The evening’s conversation will be moderated by David Staines.
Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. For 50 years, he has worked as an activist for Native causes and has taught Native literature and history at universities across North America. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. King presents both his RBC Taylor Prize-winning book, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, and his first literary novel in 15 years, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction finalist The Back of the Turtle.
J.B. MacKinnon’s first book, Dead Man in Paradise, won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. His book The 100-Mile Diet, co-authored by Alisa Smith, was a national bestseller and inspired a TV series about the small town of Mission, BC that learned to eat locally. MacKinnon presents The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, which has been shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize. The book aims to change the way we see nature and show that in restoring the living world, we are also restoring ourselves.
Graeme Smith is a Senior Analyst for the International Crisis Group, the world's leading independent, non-partisan source of analysis and advice to governments and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. He covered the Afghan war for The Globe and Mail from 2005 to 2009, spending more time in southern Afghanistan during that period than any other Western journalist. The winner of many awards for investigative reporting, he lectures widely and served as an Adjunct Scholar at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Based in Kabul, he travels frequently to Washington and Brussels. Smith presents his RBC Taylor Prize-nominated book, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, a highly personal narrative of our war in Afghanistan and how it went dangerously wrong.
David Staines is a Professor of English at the University of Ottawa. He has written or edited more than 15 books on medieval culture and literature, and on Canadian culture and literature. He is now engaged in the arduous task of reading and writing on “The History and Development of Canadian Fiction.” Staines is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the RBC Taylor Prize.
David Stouck is a biographer whose works include Ethel Wilson: A Critical Biography, shortlisted for the VanCity Book Prize, and Collecting Stamps Would Have Been More Fun: The Correspondence of Sinclair Ross 1933-86, a finalist for the Alberta Book Prize. With Myler Wilkinson, he edited Genius of Place: Writing about British Columbia. He is professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University. Stouck presents his RBC Taylor Prize-nominated book, Arthur Erickson: An Architect's Life, an intimate portrait of the brilliant and controversial architect who put Canada on the world stage.