Shortlist for 2017 City of Ottawa book awards revealed

The finalists for the City of Ottawa book awards includes a talented mystery writer, a novelist and professor at Carleton University and a respected literary lion.

The awards recognize the top English and French books published in the past year by local authors. The are 15 finalists.

The 2017 finalists for the prize in English fiction are: 

Peggy Blair for Umbrella Man (Simon & Schuster Canada)

Nadia Bozak for Thirteen Shells (House of Anansi Press)

Faizal Deen for The Greatest Films (Mawenzi House Publishers)

Katherine Leyton for All the Gold Hurts My Mouth (Goose Lane Editions)

John Metcalf for The Museum at the End of the World (Biblioasis)

The finalists for English non-fiction are:

Kevin Burns, for Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit (Franciscan Media)

Deborah Gorham for Marion Dewar: A Life of Action (Second Story Press)

Charlotte Gray for The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped our Country (Simon & Schuster Canada)

Nathan M. Greenfield for The Reckoning: Canadian Prisoners of War in the Great War (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)

D. Peter MacLeod for Backs to the Wall: The Battle of Sainte-Foy and the Conquest of Canada (Douglas & McIntyre)

The 2017 Prix du livre d’Ottawa finalists in French fiction are: 

Jean Boisjoli for La mesure du temps (Éditions Prise de parole)

Andrée Christensen for Épines d’encre (Les Éditions David)

Marie Gingras for La poulette grise (Éditions Vents d’Ouest)

Christian Milat for Si je connaissais… (Les Éditions David)

Sébastien Pierroz for Entre parenthèses (Éditions Prise de parole)

For more on these titles please see

The winners will be announced on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Jean Pigott Place at city hall. Each winner gets $7,500, while finalists receive $1,000 each.

Past winners include Nadine McInnis, Tim Cook, Scott Randall, Heather Menzies, David O’Meara, Jamieson Findlay, Brian Doyle, Frances Itani, Patricia Smart and Daniel Poliquin.


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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.