Shaughnessy Cohen smiles on Walls

Yesterday I received the happy news that Walls: Travels Along the Barricades has been shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The nomination both thrilled and surprised me. Although the book is set along fortified political lines, I never regarded Walls a political book. I considered it a travelogue. And I never thought of myself as a political writer, certainly not in the same vein as my illustrious co-nominees. I am happy, though, that the jury disagreed.

My fellow nominees include Taras Grescoe, fellow Goose Lane author Noah Richler, Jeffrey Simpson and Peter F. Trent.

The prize will be presented at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier Hotel during a swanky, black tie event called the Politics and the Pen Gala. If the photos from last year’s gala are any indication, the event is attended by black-tied and fancy-frocked Members of Parliament and political journalists. It looks like I’ll have to spend much of my $2500 finalist award on a new suit.