The International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Public Library present the RBC Taylor Prize finalists in a panel discussion with the Toronto Star Books Editor, Deborah Dundas.
The five finalists are:
Stephen R. Bown – Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska (published by Douglas & McIntyre)
Daniel Coleman – Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place (published by Wolsak and Wynn)
James Maskalyk – Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine (published by Doubleday Canada)
Tanya Talaga – Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City (published by House of Anansi Press)
Max Wallace – In the Name of Humanity (published by Allen Lane Canada)
The 17th annual prize will be awarded on February 26, 2018 at a gala luncheon.
For more information about the Prize, visit rbctaylorprize.ca.
This event is presented in partnership with the Toronto Public Library.
Stephen R. Bown is the author of many critically acclaimed, award-winning titles, including most recently White Eskimo (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015), which was the winner of the 2016 William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books. Bown lives in the Canadian Rockies.
Daniel Coleman has long been fascinated by the poetic power of narrative arts to generate a sense of place and community, critical social engagement and mindfulness, and especially wonder. As a reader, writer and teacher, he is compelled by the long, slow project of unlearning naturalized injustices and sanctioned ignorance and is witness to the fact that fresh ways to learn still occur and have transformative power. He has written scholarly books about literature, masculinity, migration and whiteness in Canada, and he has written literary non-fiction books about his upbringing among missionaries in Ethiopia, about the spiritual and cultural politics of reading and about eco-human relations in Hamilton, Ontario, the post-industrial city where he lives. He has edited books on early Canadian literary cultures, post-colonial masculinities, race, Caribbean-Canadian literature, the state of the humanities in Canadian universities, the creativity and resilience of refugees and Indigenous peoples, and international scholarship on Canadian literatures.
Deborah Dundas became the Books Editor at the Toronto Star after reviewing books for the paper for more than 15 years. She has worked in the media for more than 25 years – including stints as a books editor, but also in business, lifestyle, and national and city politics. She's worked at CTV and TVO, both as an editor/producer and reporting, interviewing or producing shows on emerging artists, popular writers and literary powerhouses. She's also lived and worked in Northern Ireland. She feels that the books beat is the perfect marriage of her diverse experience and interests.
Dr. James Maskalyk, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Six Months in Sudan, is an emergency-room physician, award-winning teacher and member of Médecins Sans Frontières. He teaches meditation with the Consciousness Explorers Club and currently divides his time between Toronto and Addis Ababa.
Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years, covering everything from general city news to education, national health care, foreign news, and Indigenous affairs. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. In 2013, she was part of a team that won a National Newspaper Award for a year-long project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. In 2015, she was part of a team that won a National Newspaper Award for Gone, a series of stories on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She is the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy. Talaga is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor. Her great-grandfather, Russell Bowen, was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. Her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. Her mother was raised in Raith and Graham, Ontario. Talaga lives in Toronto with her two teenage children.
Max Wallace is the author of four books, including The American Axis, about the Nazi affiliations of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, which was endorsed by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Wallace is the former Executive Director of the Anne & Max Bailey Center for Holocaust Studies, and from 1996 to 2000 worked for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, documenting the video testimonies of Holocaust survivors. He has contributed to the Sunday New York Times and the BBC, and has appeared on The Today Show and Dateline NBC. He lives in Toronto.