Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life, by David Stouck, has been shortlisted for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize. Arthur Erickson is one of five titles to be selected for this award that recognizes excellence in literary non-fiction writing.
Published by Douglas & McIntyre, Arthur Erickson is a portrait of the controversial architect who put Canada on the world stage. It is the first full biography of Erickson, who died in 2009 at the age of 84, and traces his life from its modest origins to his emergence on the world stage.
Three jurors decided the RBC Taylor Prize shortlist: literary scholar Coral Ann Howells, author and professor James Polk, and author and creative instructor Andrew Westoll. The jury considered 124 book submitted by 45 publishers.
Of Arthur Erickson, the jury noted: “Biographer Stouck brings a subtle yet distinct narrative flair to this study of the whirlwind, colorful life of Canada’s most famous architect. The genius behind Simon Fraser University, Roy Thomson Hall, and many other private and public gems was a complicated man with more tragic flaws than a Greek drama. Through deeply sensitive portrayals of Erickson’s idealistic philosophy of art, his creative and financial troubles, his charisma, his arrogance, and his sexual identity, Stouck demonstrates the empathy and rigour of a truly fine biographer. His full-length portrait also reveals much about the cultural life and personalities of Vancouver in the 1940s and 50s. This book tells all, and in the telling is a work of art in itself.”
Awarded to one author each year, the RBC Taylor Prize consists of $25,000 plus promotional support. The winner will also announce his or her choice for the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer’s Award, consisting of $10,000 and the opportunity to be mentored. All runners-up receive $2,000.
David Stouck will be in Toronto for a series of celebratory RBC Taylor Prize events in early March. The award winner will be announced on March 10 at The King Edward Hotel in Toronto.