Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Congratulations, Charles Foran!

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Congratulations, Charles Foran!

Last night, at Toronto's beautiful Koerner Hall, Hilary Weston and the Writers' Trust of Canada announced that Peterborough writer Charles Foran is the winner of another grand literary award, for his book Mordecai: The Life & Times: the inaugural Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

The Prize is the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. Foran was awarded $60,000.00 and a sculpture created by crystal artist Mark Raynes Roberts.

A jury composed of Canadian writers Brian Brett, Devyani Saltzman and Russell Wangersky had the following to say about the winning work:

"Charles Foran’s biography Mordecai is an epic work of scholarship and energy, capturing the career and life of the Montreal writer Mordecai Richler with a majesty that doesn’t betray the wit and sincerity of Canada’s most famous literary contrarian. Mordecai delivers an authentic portrait of a writer who could be both tragic and gut-bustingly funny in the same sentence. It’s a big book, inclusive, intelligent, and sometimes sad, framing the era, the communities, and the life of a man who could be mordant and comic, yet laced with the underlying perfume of tragedy. Charles Foran never wears his research on his sleeve, easing it near-invisibly into the web of this great life. Mordecai is well written, exciting to read, even-handed, and magisterial."

Foran's fellow finalists for the Prize received $5,000.00 each: Charlotte Gill, Richard Gwyn, Grant Lawrence and Ray Robertson.

Hilary Weston's award ceremony was a truly creative event, featuring renowned Canadian performers along with the Prize's celebrated finalists. Albert Schultz, founding artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, was the charming host and we absolutely loved the onstage music performed by a trio led by Andrew Penner. A roster of special guests read excerpts from the nominated works: writer Noah Richler and renowned actors Sheila McCarthy, William Webster, Joseph Zeigler and Diego Matamoros.

"I am honoured to have this unique opportunity to recognize writers whose work I deeply admire for its quality, range, and eloquence,” said Mrs. Weston. “Our nonfiction writers are held in great esteem around the world, and through this prize we are committed to further enhancing their status and their well-deserved reputation."

The Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize is a very exciting addition to the roster of Canadian literary prizes. Congratulations to Charles Foran and to all the finalists! To read Open Book's interviews with this amazing group of writers, please click here.

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