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Ian Williams in Ottawa on Jan. 15, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Questions of identity are front and centre on this year’s short list for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

The Writers’ Trust has announced the five titles nominated for the $60,000 honour recognizing a work of non-fiction by a Canadian writer.

Contenders include Toronto author and poet Ian Williams, who won the Giller Prize in 2019, for his form-breaking reflections on race in “Disorientation: Being Black in the World,” published by Random House Canada.

Also in the running are Gatineau, Que.-based Thomson Highway’s story of coming of age in a Cree-speaking family “Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir,” from Doubleday Canada, and Sooke, B.C.-based Darrel J. McLeod’s examination of the complexities of Indigenous identity in “Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, A Memoir,” published by Douglas & McIntyre.

Edmonton’s Jordan Abel is nominated for “NISHGA,” from McClelland & Stewart, about Indigenous artistry in a colonized space, while Ken Haigh of Clarksburg, Ont., is recognized for retracing medieval routes in “On Foot to Canterbury: A Son’s Pilgrimage,” from University of Alberta Press.

The winner will be announced at a digital ceremony on Nov. 3. Each finalist receives $5,000.

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