Yesterday at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, two books on art were shortlisted for one of Canada’s major book awards—the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
Leonardo and The Last Supper by Saskatchewan-born, UK-based author Ross King, which won the most recent Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction, was one of the finalists named. The book looks at the little-known process behind one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous works. (King has discussed some of the book’s findings as part of the Canadian Art Foundation International Speaker Series, with the video of one of these talks now available online for viewing.)
The other art-related finalist named was Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page by Vancouver’s Sandra Djwa. Though best known as a poet and author, UK-born Canadian Patricia Kathleen Page (1916–2010) was also a visual artist who exhibited her work as P.K. Irwin. Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Journey with No Maps is the first biography of Page.
The other finalists named were The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca by Carol Bishop-Gwyn; Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars by Tim Cook; and Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy by Andrew Preston.
The prize commemorates the life and work of the late Charles Taylor, one of Canada’s foremost essayists and a prominent member of the Canadian literary community. The winner receives $25,000 and the remaining finalists each receive $2,000. The 2013 winner will be announced at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto on March 4.