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Another Jewel In Ross King’s Crown

Another Jewel In Ross King’s Crown

October 2010

Writers’ Trust of Canada nominates Defiant Spirits for Non-Fiction Prize.

Douglas & McIntyre is thrilled to announce that Ross King’s Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, within only weeks of its release, is in contention for the Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize.

The major literary award recognizes “Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year's best work of non-fiction.” Its three-member, independent jury praised Defiant Spirits as “rigorously researched,” and lauded it for detailing the political and social history of Canada during a time when art exhibitions were venues for debates about Canadian national identity and cultural worth.

The four competing titles are What Disturbs Our Blood, by James FitzGerald; Tangles, by Sarah Leavitt; The Ptarmigan’s Dilemma, by John and Mary Theberge; and The Love Queen of Malabar, by Merrily Weisbord. While each finalist is assured $2,500, the prize-winner will take home ten times that amount. Fellow D&M author, Brian Brett, earned last year’s reward for his book Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life.

An esteemed art historian and novelist, King sought to portray the Group of Seven in the complexity of early 20th century Canada’s social and artistic context. Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven paints a vivid account of our most iconic artists during crucial developmental years of our national identity. Their dynamic images are ingrained within the Canadian psyche, but who were these men? What impelled them to flout the conventions of the time so that, against great odds, they could simply paint the raw landscape they encountered as they saw it and, in the process, define how we still see our country?

An associated exhibition at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario, also entitled Defiant Spirits, and guest-curated by Ross King, runs from October 2 through to Jan 30, 2010.

With the presentation of six other awards, and a total of $147,000, the Writers’ Trust Awards night is one of Canada’s most lucrative literary events. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at the Isabel Bader Theatre, in Toronto.

Read more about Defiant Spirits >>