City announces 2021 Ottawa Book Awards finalists - Archived

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Published on
September 15, 2021

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 awards recognize the top English and French books published in the past year by 19 local authors – exemplifying Ottawa’s rich literary talent.

2021 Ottawa Book Awards finalists:

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

Descriptions of short-listed books and author biographies are available on the Ottawa Book Awards webpage.

The winners of each category will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, October 20 at 6 pm. Each winner will receive $7,500, while finalists will each receive $1,000. To receive a link to the invitation for the event, please write to

The Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry and Le Prix littéraire Émergence AAOF – 2021 will also be presented at the ceremony.

Past winners of the Ottawa Book Awards include Kagiso Lesego Molope, Henry Beissel, Tim Cook, John Metcalf, Charlotte Gray and David O’Meara, Andrée Christensen, Véronique Sylvain, Pierre-Luc Landry, Alain Bernard Marchand and Margaret Michèle Cook.