Established in 1985, the Ottawa Book Awards has a long history of showcasing local authors and often serving as a springboard for emerging talent. This fall, the City of Ottawa announced a total of 19 finalists for 2021, featuring authors of both English and French-language books. The publishers of these new books range from small to medium independent press to major international publishers with decades of name recognition, as well as the university press sector. “The finalists for the 2021 Ottawa Book Awards take the reader on a journey through deeply personal poetry, poignant narrative and immersive biography to rethink progress, reconstruct history and rediscover familiar worlds anew,” the City shares.

Ottawa Book Awards – City of Ottawa

This year’s list of finalists include (by category/genre):

English Fiction

Nina Berkhout – Why Birds Sing, ECW Press
Conyer Clayton – We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite, Guernica Editions
Michael F. Stewart – Heart Sister, Orca Book Publishers
Katie Tallo – Dark August, HarperCollins Publishers (Harper Perennial)
English Non-Fiction

Tim Cook – The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada’s Second World War, Penguin Random House Canada
Suzanne Evans – The Taste of Longing: Ethel Mulvany and her Starving Prisoners of War Cookbook, Between the Lines
Anita Lahey – The Last Goldfish: A True Tale of Friendship, Biblioasis
Séan McCann with Andrea Aragon – One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love, Nimbus Publishing
Brodie Ramin – The Age of Fentanyl: Ending the Opioid Epidemic, Dundurn Press

French Fiction

Daniel Castillo Durante – Tango, Les Éditions L’Interligne
Gilles Latour – Débris du sillage, Les Éditions L’Interligne
Monia Mazigh – Farida, Les Éditions David
Michel Thérien – Le poème involontaire, Les Éditions David
Danièle Vallée – Sept nuits dans la vie de Chérie, Les Éditions David
French Non-Fiction

Michel Bastarache and Antoine Trépanier – Ce que je voudrais dire à mes enfants, Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa
Nicole V. Champeau – Niagara…la voie qui y mène, Les Éditions David
Serge Denis – Mouvements ouvriers, partis politiques et luttes populaires aux États-Unis 1938-2018, Presses de l’Université Laval

The winner in each category will be announced on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 6 p.m., at a virtually held event. Each winner will receive $7,500, while finalists will each receive $1,000. The general public is invited to attend and can receive the link to the virtual gathering by writing to:

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