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24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: Non-Fiction Finalists
Stephen Near

This is the second in a four part blog series showcasing the finalists of this year's 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Find out which authors will take home the prizes by attending the gala celebration on November 27, 2017 at Theatre Aquarius.

The finalists for this year's Non-fiction category are all examples of true and compelling tales matching that of any work of fiction. From People and the Bay by Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank, to Nobody Here Will Harm You by Shawn Selway, and Evenings and Weekends by Andrew Baulcomb, these stories recount real-life with the elegance of poetry and confront readers with hidden chapters of the world around them.

In People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour, Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank explore the complicated relationship between Hamilton Harbour and the people who came to live on its shores. From the time of European settlement through to Hamilton’s rise as an industrial city, people ahem struggled with nature, and with one another, to champion their vision of “the Bay” as a place to live, work, and play. Both Bouchier and Cruikshank bring to life the many personalities and power struggles attributed to the region drawing on a rich collection of archival materials. Along the way, they challenge readers to consider how moral and political choices being made about the natural world today will shape the cities of tomorrow.

In Nobody Here Will Harm You: Mass Medical Evacuation from the Eastern Arctic 1950-1965, Shawn Selway casts an unflinching eye on the evacuation of 1,274 Inuit and Cree sufferers of tuberculosis from the Eastern Arctic to Mountain Sanatorium in Hamilton, Ontario, from 1950 to 1965. Selway considers the political culture, and the systemic racism within that culture, in which the decisions were made, as well as the technological and economic changes that made these relocations possible. Selway carefully documents the impact of the evacuations on the Inuit community and has included an assortment of archival images within this important book about at a difficult time in our country's history.. 

In Evenings and Weekends: Five Years in Hamilton Music 2006-2011, Andrew Baulcomb explores  the roots of Hamilton’s legendary music scene. From blues singer Long John Baldry to the punk rock of Teenage Head, musicians, and music have made their home here. From innovative DJs to venue owners to radio hosts to the Arkells, Baulcomb interviews them all and weaves the story of an explosion of music in Hamilton with that of a generation adrift. This is a coming-of-age story that puts a human face on the people who made music happen, and on those who listened to it.

This year's Award for Non-Fiction is sponsored by:

Next: the finalists for Fiction