Awards: Crook's Corner; RBC Taylor for Literary Nonfiction

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint Press) has won the sixth annual $5,000 Crook's Corner Book Prize for best debut novel set in the South. Judge Tayari Jones called the book "an eye-opener, page-turner, and heart-breaker."

The organizers described A Kind of Freedom as following "the downward spiral of an African-American family in New Orleans, from the 1940s through Hurricane Katrina. The family, anchored by a respected physician and his Creole wife, had occupied the upper echelons of black society in the city. But as each generation journeys through the 1980s to the post-Katrina world, family members--despite never-extinguished hope--succumb to drugs and seemingly implacable futility."

The Crook's Corner Book Prize is a collaboration between Crook's Corner Bar & Café in Chapel Hill, N.C., and the Crook's Corner Book Prize Foundation.


The shortlist has been unveiled for the CA$25,000 (about US$18,900) RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction, which recognizes an author "whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style and a subtlety of thought and perception." The winning author will be announced March 4 at an awards ceremony in Toronto. The winner also names his or her choice for the CA$10,000 (about US$7,560) RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer's Award. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood by Bill Gaston
Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music by Ian Hampton
Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road by Kate Harris
All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir by Elizabeth Hay
Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod

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