Only one day after arriving in stores, Naomi Klein's latest book has landed on the short list of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, Klein's first book since The Shock Doctrine was published in 2007, is nominated alongside Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them, by Ottawa-based journalist Susan Delacourt; Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, by Vancouver writer Charles Montgomery; Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online, by investigative journalist and broadcaster Paula Todd; and Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage, by Montreal novelist Kathleen Winter.
"It's a nice kick-start to the tour and the launch," said Klein.
The prizewinner receives $60,000, while each of the remaining finalists receives $5,000, making it the most lucrative award of its kind for works of non-fiction published in Canada.
This year's short list was selected by a jury composed of writers Merrily Weisbord, Priscila Uppal and Charles Foran; they considered 92 books submitted by 42 publishers from across Canada.
"I'm very, very happy with this short list – these are all wonderful books of stature – but I would say they're indications of it being a difficult time for non-fiction in Canada," said Foran. "It's hard to find the support to write a really major non-fiction book in Canada. I think the times make it hard."
He said there was "a notable absence of travel books" and "almost no biographies" among the submitted books.
"I can't help but note that myself. Possibly because I've written some of those big books, and I know what goes into them, and I know when it becomes difficult or impossible to write them," said Foran, whose biography of Mordecai Richler won the prize in 2011.
Continuing a tradition established two years ago, two additional jurors have been enlisted to help choose a winner, who will be announced on Oct. 14: CBC broadcaster Peter Mansbridge and filmmaker Deepa Mehta.
Former Globe and Mail correspondent Graeme Smith won last year's award for his book The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan.