Stalin’s Daughter wins $25Gs Taylor Prize

Rosemary Sullivan and her prize-winning book. By Jasminee Sahoye
Rosemary Sullivan and her prize-winning book.
By Jasminee Sahoye

Quebec-born Rosemary Sullivan for book Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, is the 2016 winner of the RBC Taylor Prize.
The story is a non-fiction biography of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin’s only daughter.
“Stalin’s Daughter expansively intertwines history, political intrigue, espionage and domestic drama, yet Sullivan hones the episodes to one struggle: Alliluyeva’s attempt to escape her father’s shadow.”
Among nominees in previous years was Barbados-born Canadian author Austin Clarke on the 2015 long list for ‘Membering.
Noreen Taylor, founder of the prize, announced the winner during a gala luncheon hosted by her and members of the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize jury at Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.
The jury was composed of well-known broadcast executive Susanne Boyce, award-winning author and educator Joseph Kertes and distinguished scholar Stephen J. Toope.
They read 120 books submitted by publishers from around the world and chose the winner from their five-book shortlist.
The other prize finalists are Ian Brown (Toronto) for Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? published by Random House Canada; Camilla Gibb (Toronto) for This Is Happy published by Doubleday Canada; David Halton (Ottawa) for Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada’s Voice at War published by McClelland & Stewart; and Wab Kinew (Winnipeg for The Reason You Walk published by Viking Canada.
In late March Sullivan will announce the 2016 winner of the RBC Taylor Emerging Author Award. The winning author will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to be mentored under Sullivan.
This is the 15th awarding of the prestigious prize which recognizes excellence in Canadian literary non-fiction. The national book award was established in 1998 to commemorate the life and work of one of Canada’s foremost literary non-fiction writers, the late Charles Taylor.
First presented as a biennial award in 2000 and made annual in 2004, the RBC Taylor Prize is given to a Canadian author whose book best demonstrates a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.