Douglas & McIntyre

News & Events

News & Event Details

Defiant Spirits nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize

Defiant Spirits nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize

January 2011

Douglas & McIntyre is thrilled to announce that Ross King’s Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, has been shortlisted for the 2011 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.

The prestigious literary award “commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction,” and is “awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.” The prize’s inaugural three-member jury (eminent Canadian authors Neil Bissoondath, Eva-Marie Kröller, and David Macfarlane) praised Defiant Spirits as “a fresh and immediately authoritative study of a Canadian cultural icon.” Further, they lauded King’s ability “to place the historic details of the Group’s working lives into an international context.”

The four competing titles are On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women, by Stevie Cameron (Alfred A. Knopf Canada); Mordecai: The Life & Times, by Charles Foran (Alfred A. Knopf Canada); The Geography of Arrival: A Memoir, by George Sipos (Gaspereau Press); and The Love Queen of Malabar, by Merrily Weisbord (McGill-Queen’s University Press). Each nominee is awarded $2,000, while the prize-winner will earn $25,000.

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? Defiant Spirits answers these questions as it details the political and social history of Canada during a time when art exhibitions were venues for debate about Canadian national identity and cultural worth.

The winner of the 2011 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction will be announced at a gala awards ceremony and luncheon, to be held at Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto on Monday, February 14, 2011.

Read more about Defiant Spirits >>