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Globe and Mail writer Sandra Martin among Donner Prize finalists

Sandra Martin

Andrew Norman/andrew norman The Globe and Mail

Long-time Globe and Mail feature writer Sandra Martin is among the nominees for the prestigious Donner Prize, which celebrates the best books relating to Canadian public policy.

It's the latest in a string of honours for her book A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices, a history of the right-to-die movement and how the way we end our lives is changing. It won the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction earlier this year, while last month is was shortlisted for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize.

The other finalists are Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World by Juliet Johnson; A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin; Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control by Alex Marland; and a French-language title, L'intégration des services en santé: Une approche populationnelle by Yves Couturier, Lucie Bonin and Louise Belzile.

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"The books we chose for the short list exemplify the criteria established for the Donner Prize – relevant and important topics for Canadian public policy; based on sound and original analysis; and accessible not only to experts but also to a general readership," said Peter Nicholson, chair of this year's jury, in a statement. "By stimulating informed discussion, each of these books will contribute to an even stronger and more inclusive Canadian democracy."

The winner of the prize receives $50,000, while the other finalists each take home $7,500.

"Our five finalists are leading academics and award-winning writers who offer Canadians insight into highly topical subjects, elevating the public policy discourse in our country," said Kenneth Whyte, chair of the Donner Canadian Foundation, in a statement. "Each of these books deserves a wide readership, and in announcing the short list we invite Canadians to join the conversation."

The winner of this year's Donner Prize will be announced May 15.

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