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2019 RBC Taylor Prize Winner: Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders!


Recounting her bicycle passage – and simultaneous surveys of science, the nature of exploration, and the self – through the ancient trade route, Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road was awarded the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize for literary nonfiction on March 4. The Globe and Mail said of the book that “it isn't so much a travelogue as it is a contemplation of what pushes us out the door and how we change out there in the world before we return to our own little corner of it.”

Harris’ debut book, Lands of Lost Borders was selected from five shortlisted titles – the others being Darrel McLeod’s Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, Elizabeth Hay’s All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Story, Ian Hampton’s Jan In 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music; and Bill Gaston’s Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood – which had been chosen among 110 Canadian nonfiction titles published over the past year.

Lands of Lost Borders joins past winners such as Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian, Rosemary Sullivan’s Stalin’s Daughter, Plum Johnston’s They Left Us Everything, Ross King’s Mad Enchantment, and Tanya Talaga’s Seven Fallen Feathers. Harris receives a $25,000 prize, with the runners-up each collecting $5,000. In April, she will also have the opportunity to select an up-and-coming author as the recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writers Award.

If the award has piqued your curiosity in this year’s winner, OPL offers numerous print copies (including some in express!) of Lands of Lost Borders, as well as eBook and CD audiobook versions.

Image: Lands of Lost Borders

Lands of Lost Borders

Out of Bounds on the Silk Road
By Harris, Kate
Image: Mamaskatch


A Cree Coming of Age
By McLeod, Darrel
Image: All Things Consoled

All Things Consoled

A Daughter's Story
By Hay, Elizabeth
Image: Jan in 35 Pieces

Jan in 35 Pieces

A Memoir in Music
By Hampton, Ian
Image: Just Let Me Look at You

Just Let Me Look at You

On Fatherhood
By Gaston, Bill
Image: The Inconvenient Indian

The Inconvenient Indian

A Curious Account of Native People in North America
By King, Thomas
Image: Stalin's Daughter

Stalin's Daughter

The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
By Sullivan, Rosemary
Image: They Left Us Everything

They Left Us Everything

A Memoir
By Johnson, Plum
Image: Mad Enchantment

Mad Enchantment

Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
By King, Ross
Image: Seven Fallen Feathers

Seven Fallen Feathers

Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in A Northern City
By Talaga, Tanya