Finalists named for the 33rd Annual BC Book Prizes

If you’re a book fiend — like me! — you’ll probably be interested in the West Coast Book Prize Society’s announcement the names of the finalists vying for recognition in seven categories at the 33rd Annual BC Book Prizes event.

Here are all the names, lumped under each prize category.

The Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize awarded to the author of the best work of fiction:

  • Joan Haggerty, The Dancehall Years (Mother Tongue Publishing);
  • Anosh Irani, The Parcel (Knopf Canada);
  • Ashley Little, Niagara Motel (Arsenal Pulp Press);
  • Jennifer Manuel, The Heaviness of Things That Float (Douglas and McIntyre); and
  • Jen Sookfong Lee, The Conjoined (ECW Press).

The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize to recognize the author(s) of the book that contributes most to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia:

  • Anthony Kenyon, The Recorded History of the Liard Basin 1790-1910: Where British Columbia joins the Yukon and N.W.T. (Fort Nelson News);
  • Michael Layland, A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions);
  • David Pitt-Brooke, Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia (Harbour Publishing);
  • Christopher Pollon, with photos by Ben Nelms, The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam (Harbour Publishing); and
  • Neil J. Sterritt, Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History (Creekstone Press).

The Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize awarded to the author of the best original non-fiction literary work:

  • Carmen Aguirre, Mexican Hooker #1: And My Other Roles Since the Revolution (Random House Canada);
  • Deborah Campbell, A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Knopf Canada);
  • Mohamed Fahmy, with Carol Shaben, The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo’s Scorpion Prison to Freedom (Random House Canada);
  • Joy Kogawa, Gently to Nagasaki (Caitlin Press);
  • Mark Leiren-Young, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World (Greystone Books).

The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize awarded to the author of the best work of poetry:

  • Adèle Barclay, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You (Nightwood Editions);
  • Anne Fleming, poemw (Pedlar Press);
  • Juliane Okot Bitek, 100 Days (University of Alberta Press);
  • Rob Taylor, The News (Gaspereau Press); and
  • Richard Therrien, Sleeping in Tall Grass (University of Alberta Press).

The Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize presented to the best illustrated book written for children:

  • Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett, My Heart Fills with Happiness (Orca Book Publishers);
  • Julie Morstad, illustrated by Julie Morstad, Today (Simply Read Books);
  • Margriet Ruurs, illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (Orca Book Publishers);
  • Nikki Tate, Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet (Orca Book Publishers); and
  • Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd, illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers, Peace Dancer (Harbour Publishing).

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize awarded to the best non-illustrated book written for children:

  • Kathleen Cherry, Everyday Hero (Orca Book Publishers);
  • Iain Lawrence, The Skeleton Tree (Tundra Books);
  • K. McLay, The Rahtrum Chronicles: The Dream (Fifth House Publishers);
  • Kit Pearson, A Day of Signs and Wonders (HarperCollins Publishers); and
  • Robin Stevenson, Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (Orca Book Publishers)

The Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award presented to the originating publisher and author(s) of the best book in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production, and content:

  • Aaron Chapman, The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang (Arsenal Pulp Press);
  • Wade Davis, Wade Davis: Photographs (Douglas and McIntyre);
  • Michael Layland, A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions);
  • Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd, Peace Dancer (Harbour Publishing); and
  • Richard Wagamese, Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations (Douglas and McIntyre).

The winners in the seven categories above will be announced at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala event on Saturday, April 29, at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel in Vancouver. British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, will be in attendance.

Also, at the Gala, the recipient of the 2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence will be presented. The announcement date is set for April 4. This award was established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo to recognize BC writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the province. In 2016, the 13th annual award was presented to Alan Twigg. Winners in the seven categories and the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence will collectively receive $19,000 in cash prizes.

A selection of the shortlisted authors will be announced in the coming weeks and will be part of BC Book Prizes On Tour. This author-reading tour will take finalists to schools and public venues, such as public libraries, in many communities throughout BC in April.