Today the Writers' Trust of Canada announced the five nominees for the 21st annual Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The prize rewards the finest book of political writing on any subject with a $25,000 prize purse and celebrates the legacy of Shaughnessy Cohen, a well-loved MP for the Windsor, Ontario area who passed away in 1998.
The subjects and approaches covered by the finalists' books include what the Writers' Trust's release described as "a bold memoir of successes and failures by an influential Black former MP; a chronicle of a year in the constant struggle against racism in this country; a disturbing analysis of the internet’s unchecked influence on civic life; an examination of the ways political parties exert control over elected representatives; and the story of seventeen women who led a spontaneous campaign for abortion reform in Canada."
Two independent presses, both located in Toronto (House of Anansi Press and Second Story Press) and one academic press (the University of British Columbia Press) are represented on the list.
2021 Nominees for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing:
- Celina Caesar-Chavannes for Can You Hear Me Now? How I Found My Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose (Random House Canada)
- Desmond Cole for The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power (Doubleday Canada)
- Ronald J. Deibert for Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society (House of Anansi Press)
- Alex Marland for Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada (UBC Press)
- Karin Wells for The Abortion Caravan: When Women Shut Down Government in the Battle for the Right to Choose (Second Story Press)
The winner will be announced on September 22, 2021 at a digital edition of the Writers' Trust Politics & the Pen Gala, which traditionally attracts politicians, members of the diplomatic corps, lobbyists, journalists, and others as a beloved feature of the annual Ottawa political social calendar.