The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced the five finalists for this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction yesterday, and local literary star Kathleen Winter is on the list!

It’s the prize with the biggest purse in the country for a book of non-fiction, and here’s whom she’s joined by:

·      Susan Delacourt for Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them

·      Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

·       Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

·       Paula Todd for Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies, and Predators Online 

·       Kathleen Winter for Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage 

Each finalist will receive $5,000, with the eventual prizewinner receiving a total of $60,000. This year’s jury was composed of three writers: Charles Foran, Priscila Uppal, and Merrily Weisbord.

But the prize jury will now expand to five jurors “who will deliberate to select the prizewinner, to be announced at a gala presentation at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario on October 14.”

Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National, and Deepa Mehta, award-winning film director and screenwriter, will be the other two people joining the jury.

“In this era of information overload, well-researched and well-written stories are essential to keep our communities aware of the issues and events that matter,” said Mrs. Weston. “This prize nurtures and rewards the Canadian nonfiction writers that so adeptly illuminate the world through the power of their storytelling.”

About Kathleen Winter’s Boundless

In 2010, bestselling author Kathleen Winter took a journey across the storied Northwest Passage, among marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers.

This new book takes readers along with Kathleen, from Greenland to Baffin Island and all along the passage, as she bears witness to the new math of the melting North — where polar bears mate with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles to navigate the tension between taking part in the new global economy and defending their traditional way of life.

Throughout the journey she also learns from fellow passengers Aaju Peter and Bernadette Dean, who teach her about Inuit society, past and present. She bonds with Nathan Rogers, son of the late Canadian icon Stan Rogers, who died in a plane crash when Nathan was nearly four years old.

Nathan’s quest is to take the route his father never travelled, except in his beloved song “The Northwest Passage,” which he performs both as anthem and lament at sea. And she guides us through her own personal odyssey, emigrating from England to Canada as a child and discovering both what was lost and what was gained as a result of that journey.

In breathtaking prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter’s Boundless is a haunting and powerful story, and a homage to the ever-evolving and magnetic power of the North.

Note: She’s also releasing a book of shorts this fall: The Freedom in American Songs