Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Best of Canadian Creative Non-Fiction - The Edna Staebler Award







The Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is the only award of its kind for this genre offered in Canada. Established by writer and literary journalist Edna Staebler and first awarded in 1991, it provides encouragement and recognition to a Canadian writer of a first or second published book. The award is valued at $10,000.

This year's three finalists are:

Hot Art: chasing thieves and detectives through the secret world of stolen art (M)
by Joshua Knelman

A young journalist from Toronto spends four years immersing himself in the mysterious world of international art theft, traveling from Cairo to New York, London, Montreal and Los Angeles. He befriends the slippery Paul, a master thief who got his start in Brighton as a knocker--traveling door to door as a junk collector while secretly scanning homes for valuables that he would steal later on. He gets caught up in the world of Donald Hrycyk, a detective who works on a shoestring budget in downtown L.A. to recover stolen art. Through alternating chapters focusing on Paul and a small international network of detectives, the story of the thief and the detective unfolds, revealing the dramatic rise of international art theft.

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: a Canadian story of resilience and recovery
(M)
by Andrew Westoll

Andrew Westoll spent months at Fauna Sanctuary, a refuge for thirteen chimps rescued from a research lab, as a volunteer caregiver. In The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, Westoll vividly recounts his adventures in the chimp house and the heart-wrenching histories of its residents. He arrives with dreams of striking up an immediate friendship with the legendary Tom, a father figure to the rest of the chimps. Tom proves the greatest teacher to the indomitable Gloria Grow, who presides over the sanctuary. Through Westoll’s eyes, we witness the chimps’ remarkable recovery first-hand. Simple things like establishing friendships, nurturing alliances, grooming one another and playing games of tickle-chase are all poignant testament to the capacity of these animals to heal—and to learn how to be chimps again.

Most of Me: surviving my medical meltdown (M)
by Robyn Michele Levy

Robyn Levy, an artist and producer of radio programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, explains how she learned that she has Parkinson's disease. Barely coping with that diagnosis, she shares her subsequent discovery she has breast cancer, and that she must undergo more than one surgery to deal with this second disease.

"This memoir is proof of the power of the human spirit. By finding joy in the face of the worst circumstances, Levy shows that "what doesn't kill you makes you stranger" and stronger. Enthusiastically recommended" Library Journal

Past winners include:

Burning Down the House: fighting fires and losing myself
(M)
by Russell Wangersky

Causeway: a passage from innocence (M)
by Linden MacIntyre

I'll Tell You a Secret: a memory of seven summers
(M)
by Anne Coleman

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