Toronto Star journalist Joanna Chiu has won this year’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Ms. Chiu, who is based in Vancouver, was honoured for her first book, China Unbound: A New World Disorder, which is about China’s influence in Canada and around the world.
“The rise of China is the geopolitical story of the twentieth-first century, and Joanna Chiu has expertly charted the country’s efforts to extend its power around the globe,” the judges said in a statement.
Ms. Chiu’s competitors for the award, given by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, included the former governor of the Bank of Canada and former federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. The honour, announced Tuesday night in Ottawa in the trust’s first in-person event in more than two years, comes with a $25,000 prize.
The judges said Ms. Chiu had done a masterful job of reporting the story of modern China in her book, which was published by House of Anansi Press.
“From meeting displaced Uyghurs in Istanbul and China-curious entrepreneurs in Sicily, to witnessing street protests in Hong Kong and Xi Jinping’s wooing of Vladimir Putin in Beijing, Chiu does on-the-ground reporting and adds brisk, smart analysis of China’s creeping influence in Canada and around the world. The result: China Unbound is a sweeping portrait of a rising superpower that is essential reading for any follower of Canadian politics.”
The winners and finalists were selected by a jury consisting of Ottawa journalist Charelle Evelyn, author and past prize finalist Jacques Poitras, and previous Conservative Party of Canada deputy leader Lisa Raitt.
The award recognizes a book of literary nonfiction on a political subject relevant to Canadian readers that has the potential to influence thinking on Canadian political life.
This year’s award was presented by prize sponsor CN at the Politics and the Pen gala, attended by hundreds of guests from literary and political circles.
The prize is named for the late MP from Windsor, Ont., who died in 1998. This year is the 35th anniversary of the fundraising event, which has raised more than $5-million to support literary programs of the Writers Trust of Canada.
The 2022 runners-up are:
The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War by Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson, published by Sutherland House.
The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future by Stephen Poloz, published by Allen Lane Canada.
Flora! A Woman in a Man’s World by Flora MacDonald and Geoffrey Stevens, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power by Jody Wilson-Raybould, published by HarperCollins Publishers.
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