Anna Porter wins $25,000 prize for political writing

The Writers’ Trust of Canada has awareded Anna Porter the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for her non-fiction book The Ghosts of Europe: Journeys Through Central Europe’s Troubled Past and Uncertain Future.

The award is sponsored by CTV and was announced at the Writers’ Trust annual fundraiser Politics and The Pen Gala. Porter was selected by a jury composed of journalists L. Ian MacDonald, Rosemary Speirs and Paul Wells. Their citation reads:

“From the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself, the former Warsaw Pact states of Central Europe re-gained their independence from Moscow. In Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, newly liberated voices became the sentinels of nascent democracies. Even under the Soviet yoke, these countries never lost their nationhood, but two decades later still struggle “under the weight of history and memory.” In Anna Porter, we are in the presence not only of a journalist on a personal odyssey back to her own origins in Communist Hungary, but of a gifted storyteller who shapes a historically consequential narrative.”

Four finalists received $2,500 each:

-Tim Cook for The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie

-Shelagh D. Grant for Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America

-Lawrence Martin for Harperland: The Politics of Control

-Doug Saunders for Arrival City: The Final Migration and our Next World