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Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle is nominated for Had It Coming.

Handout

Non-fiction reads about topics ranging from #MeToo to mosquitoes are in running for the final RBC Taylor Prize.

Canadian literary legend Margaret Atwood named the five finalists vying for the honour, which comes with a $30,000 cheque, at a Toronto event Wednesday morning.

Atwood thanked prize organizers for the books they’ve elevated over 20 years of celebrating Canadian literary non-fiction, which is poised to come to an end with this year’s winner.

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“I certainly hope that if it is the last [Taylor Prize], something will take its place,” she said. “From the variety and the quality of the entrants of this year’s prize, the recognition of quality non-fiction is most desirable.”

Among the contenders is Toronto-based Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle, who is nominated for Had It Coming about justice in the age of #MeToo.

B.C.-based journalist Jessica McDiarmid has been shortlisted for Highway of Tears about the northern stretch of highway where a number of Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing.

Canadian-born, Colorado-based historian Timothy Winegard received a nod for his look at one of humanity’s deadliest pests, The Mosquito, while science writer and former Daily Planet co-host Ziya Tong is nominated for puncturing preconceptions in The Reality Bubble.

Rounding out the short list is Ottawa journalist Mark Bourrie for Bush Runner, a biography of swashbuckling fur trader Pierre-Esprit Radisson, who helped found the Hudson’s Bay Company.

First awarded in 2000, the Taylor Prize honours late Canadian writer and historian Charles Taylor’s commitment to literary non-fiction.

Founder Noreen Taylor said the record 155 books submitted for the 2020 prize shows that her husband’s vision has been fulfilled.

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“It’s absolutely thrilling for all ... the people involved in this process to realize we reached every goal we wished to for a branch of literature we felt had been underrecognized.”

Organizers say all previous Taylor Prize winners will be flown to Toronto for a celebration before the final prize is awarded on March 2.

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