Carol Off Wins the 2018 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

February 1, 2018


VANCOUVER British Columbia Achievement Foundation Chair, Scott McIntyre, is pleased to announce that Carol Off has won the 2018 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for All We Leave Behind: A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others.

Off was presented with the $40,000 prize at a ceremony that also celebrated finalists Ken Dryden for Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey; Doug Saunders for Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough; and, Tanya Talaga for Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City.

"Congratulations to Carol Off and all the 2018 finalists. Their work provides a compelling lens into issues and stories that have genuine impact on our everyday life," said McIntyre. "We are blessed with a remarkable pool of writing talent in Canada, demonstrated by this year's shortlisted authors."

Now in its 14th year, British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction is one of Canada's major national book prizes and the only one to originate in BC. The award is presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established by the Province in 2003 to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise, and community service.

The 2018 jury panel members were Jan Walter, Jury Chair, editor, publishing executive, bookseller and former Chair of the Kingston WritersFest Board; Rick Antonson, author, book publisher, lecturer and former CEO of Tourism Vancouver; and, Eliza Reid, co-founder of the Iceland Writers' Retreat, writer, editor and currently the First Lady of Iceland.

The jury cited:
All We Leave Behind is a timely memoir that offers both context to and a close- up of uncomfortable truths: the failures of the West's involvement in Afghanistan, the hurdles confronting refugees who seek safety in Canada, and the dilemma of a combat journalist expected to maintain professional distance from her sources.

Carol Off relied on Asad Aryubwal's willingness to reveal the crimes of warlords on whom NATO pinned its hopes for stability after the reign of the Taliban, but his on-camera testimony put him and his family at risk. After precarious years in exile, the Aryubwals hoped for refugee status in Canada; Off decided she had to help. Then began a harrowing seven-year battle with corrupt or hostile bureaucracies, abroad and at home. With bracing insight and a skillfully crafted narrative, this work forces a rethinking of our attitudes to those who ask us for sanctuary.

Background information about British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction is available at www.bcachievement.com/nonfiction Detailed information about the awards and a list of past winners is posted on the Foundation's website at www.bcachievement.com. The event can be followed on Twitter @bcachievement and #bcnationalaward.

Contact:
Cathryn Wilson
Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation
604.261.9777
cathrynwilson@bcachievement.com

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British Columbia Achievement Foundation
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