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Two BC writers shortlisted for prize

April 06th, 2022

B.C. writers, Joanna Chui (at right) and Jody Wilson-Raybould have been shortlisted for the 2022 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, that comes with a purse of $25,000.

The prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life.

Chui’s title, China Unbound: A New World Disorder (House of Anansi $24.99) gives the background to one of the major geopolitical stories of the twentieth-first century — the rise of China. “Joanna Chiu has expertly charted the country’s efforts to extend its power around the globe,” wrote the judges. “From meeting displaced Uyghurs in Istanbul and China, curious entrepreneurs in Sicily, to witnessing street protests in Hong Kong and Xi Jinping’s wooing of Vladimir Putin in Beijing, Chiu does on-the-ground reporting and adds brisk, smart analysis of China’s creeping influence in Canada and around the world. The result: China Unbound is a sweeping portrait of a rising superpower that is essential reading for any follower of Canadian politics.”

Wilson-Raybould’s book, Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power (HarperCollins $34.99) is “a searing account of what happens when a political outsider attempts to find their way in the highly partisan Canadian parliamentary system, where power is increasingly concentrated and decisions are made from the centre of the Prime Minister’s Office,” wrote the judges. “In an illuminating, page-turning read, Wilson-Raybould spotlights the ongoing struggle to reconcile two systems and styles of governance, one of which existed long before the idea of Canada as we know it.”

The finalists were selected by a jury composed of Ottawa journalist Charelle Evelyn, author and past prize finalist Jacques Poitras, and past Conservative Party of Canada deputy leader Hon. Lisa Raitt.

The winner will be announced in person on May 17, 2022 at the Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa.


Now in its 22nd year, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books that provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.

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