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Books Ken Dryden, Carol Off among authors on long list for B.C. non-fiction award

Ken Dryden speaks at a memorial for musician Stompin’ Tom Connors at the Peterborough Memorial Centre in 2013.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Ken Dryden, Carol Off and Tanya Talaga are among the 10 authors whose books are on the long list for the lucrative BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

The award, which is open to non-fiction writers from across the country, comes with a $40,000 prize from the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.

Politician and former hockey player Dryden is in the running for his book Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey (McClelland & Stewart). The book focuses on the former NHL defenceman, whose brain showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he died at age 35, and the overall impact of concussions on hockey players.

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Radio broadcaster Off is on the list for her book All We Leave Behind: A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others (Penguin Random House). The book was also a finalist in the non-fiction category for the Governor General's Award, and is up for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Talaga is on the long list for her book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City (House of Anansi Press), about the deaths of Indigenous teenagers in Thunder Bay, Ont. Her book is also a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Two other authors are also on the list for books about health: Dr. Danielle Martin for Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians (Penguin) and James Maskalyk, another Writers' Trust finalist, for Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine (Penguin Random House).

Another two are written by historians: Tim Cook's Vimy: The Battle and the Legend (Penguin), and Stephen R. Bown's Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering's Great Voyage to Alaska (Douglas & McIntyre).

The long list also includes Chris Turner's Fort McMurray portrait "The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands" (Simon and Schuster), Doug Saunders's Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough (Penguin Random House), and Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood (Penguin), Pauline Dakin's account of a childhood spent fleeing the Mafia.

The short list will be announced on Dec. 1, and the award will be presented to the winner in a ceremony in Vancouver in early 2018.

Last year's prize went to Sandra Martin for A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices (HarperCollins).

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