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Shortlist announced for the NL Book Awards

Shortlist announced for the NL Book Awards

Daniel Banoub, Pam Hall and Jerry Evans join Kerri Cull as finalists

By MUPress Staff Date: September 21, 2023

Congratulations to Daniel Banoub and to Pam Hall and Jerry Evans! Fishing Measures: A Critique of Desk-Bound Reason and Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge Chapter III: Miaqpkek - The Middle River have made the shortlist for the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Non-Fiction! We're delighted to see two books published by Memorial University Press on the shortlist!

The NLBAs celebrate and honour excellence in writing by authors in Canada’s easternmost province and are made possible by the generous support of sponsors. The author of the winning book in each category (Non-fiction and Poetry) will receive $1,500. Two runners-up per category will receive $500. 

Join WritersNL on September 27th at 6:00pm, either virtually or in person at the A.C. Hunter Public Library Library, for readings by the 2023 NLBA finalists, followed by the winner announcement.

Congratulations once again to all shortlisted authors! Here's what the jury said about the shortlisted titles:

Fishing Measures: A Critique of Desk-Bound Reason


"Infinitely readable and relevant in an era of diminishing natural resources in seemingly every realm, Fishing Measures chronicles the ways in which so-called scientific experts attempted to improve Newfoundland’s saltfish industry. Author Daniel Banoub’s deeply researched dive into the emergence of cod liver oil as a vitamin packed curative for (especially) children is sure to trigger memories for everyone who shuddered when a spoonful of the concoction approached their lips. A volume that sets, in stark relief, the know-how of rubber-booted Newfoundland anglers against the “advice” of pencil-pushing desk jockeys, Fishing Measures serves as a primer for the age-old adage to “leave well enough alone.” Archival black and white photos of fishers processing and selling their catch enhance the book. Those who tracked the capitalist-driven soft drink debacle that was “New Coke” will note similar themes in Banoub’s well-wrought analysis of money, marketing, and purported fisheries science.


Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge Chapter III: Miawpukek - The Middle River


"By word origin encyclopedia comes to us from the Greek and means a general or all-round education. This third chapter of Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge befits and stretches this definition. The series itself has consistently demonstrated legacy-worthy content and design and here again fills a gap of tradition, science, know-how, and lore, arriving with pitch perfect timing amidst concerns of and attention to knowledge conservation, guardianship, and stewardship.The crisp layout presents the curated wisdom of almost 70 individual contributors not just in two languages side-by-side but embedded with a visual lexicon. Truly an encyclopedic knowledge – thorough, trustworthy, attested. The chapters include “Powwow: Why And How We Gather”; “What Martha Knows About Beading On A Loom”; “Where Wish Benoit Went For What”: the topics; dancing, hunting, beading, berrypicking, wayfinding, games, medicine, cuisine, ritual and regalia; and the knowledge imparted not just how to build a canoe but how to harvest the birch bark and treat the seams, not just how to hunt a moose but how to call it and tan the hide. This is a whole and holistic way of being in the world. In pedigree and experience visual artists Pam Hall’s and Jerry Evans’ resumes are studded with community-minded, socially attuned projects. As in Knowledge, their artworks are not separate from anything else, but in the sinew, weaving and spearing, healing and dance of their subjects."