Shaughnessy Cohen finalists introduced – Winnipeg Free Press

This year’s shortlisted books for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing focus on two path-breaking female cabinet members, the challenges of Canada-China relations and the forecasts of a former governor of the Bank of Canada.

Nominated for the $25,000 prize, awarded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, are The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the U.S.-China Cyber War, by Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson; China Unbound: A New World Disorder, by Joanna Chiu; Flora! A Woman in a Man’s World, by Flora MacDonald and Geoffrey Stevens; The Next Age of Uncertainty: How Canada Can Adapt to a Riskier Future, by Stephen Poloz; and Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, by Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The winning book will be announced May 17.

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Shyam Selvadurai shines a light on Yasodhara, the wife of Siddhartha Guatama, founder of Buddhism, in his new novel Mansions of the Moon (Knopf Canada).

Selvadurai, whose 1994 first novel, the bestselling Funny Boy, was made into a movie in 2020 by Deepa Mehta, will discuss the new book Thursday, May 12, in an online session presented by the Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival.

To take part, see

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One of the richest literary prizes in the U.S. is one of the most low-profile, with no public announcement of finalists and a list of winners that is generally less familiar to readers.

Eight Windham-Campbell Prizes, worth US$165,000 each, are announced each year by Yale University, funded by a donation by graduate Donald Windham, using the fortune inherited from his partner Sandy Campbell. In a unique twist, writers don’t even know they’ve been nominated until they get the call that they’ve won.

The goal of the prizes is to allow recipients to continue to write without financial concerns. This year’s recipients include Wong May, a poet born in China, educated in the U.S. and now living in Ireland, who had a 36-year gap between her third poetry collection (Superstitions, published in 1978) and her most recent (Picasso’s Tears, published in 2014).

The other recipients this year are two writers from the U.S., playwright Sharon Bridgforth and non-fiction writer Margo Jefferson; two from the U.K., playwright Winsome Pinnock and poet Zaffar Kunial; two Zimbabwean novelists, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu and Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Nigerian editor and non-fiction writer Emmanuel Iduma.

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The shortlist for this year’s Dylan Thomas Prize for writers under 40 features two books that were finalists in last year’s Booker Prize — Passage North, by Sri Lankan novelist Anuk Arudpragasam, and No One is Talking About This, by American novelist and poet Patricia Lockwood.

The £20,000 prize is open to writers from around the world who write in English.

The other writers shortlisted this year are Irish-Indian poet Nidhi Zak, for her debut collection, Auguries of a Minor God; British-Ghanaian novelist Caleb Azumah Nelson, for his debut novel Open Water; American Nathan Harris, for his debut novel The Sweetness of Water; and American Brandon Taylor, for his collection of linked stories, Filthy Animals. The winner will be announced on Thursday.

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Good news for those of you interested in DickTok, which in this case refers to TikTok videos about Charles Dickens.

As a reported in the U.K. newspaper the Standard, the Charles Dickens Museum has recently had its TikTok account unblocked. The museum had earlier discovered that its TikTok channel had been rendered unsearchable because content filters blocked out the problematic first syllable in the author’s last name.

Once the museum went public with the problem, the block was lifted so teenagers can once again watch short online videos featuring guided tours of the home of the author of Hard Times.

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Award-winning Winnipeg novelist Margaret Sweatman launches her new novel — a coming-of-age story touching on Canada-U.S. relations and Vietnam War — on Friday at McNally Robinson.

The Gunsmith’s Daughter is the story of a brilliant and ambitious gunsmith and his 18-year-old daughter, who is journeying toward independence. Sweatman will discuss the novel, starting at 7 p.m., with Winnipeg writer and comedian Lara Rae.

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