A Nanaimo author who wrote a book about New York City has been awarded a prize by its denizens.
Earlier this month the winners of the seventh annual Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize were announced and Protection Island’s Craig Taylor was awarded the Non-fiction Prize for his book, New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time.
Taylor said he was in disbelief when he heard he won the $5,000 prize. He said the list of finalists was “incredible.”
“There were amazing, very relevant, important books on the short list,” he said. “And for a Canadian, too, to get in there and win something like that, it was very, very surprising.”
According to a press release, librarians and library staff in the library’s 60 branches nominated 53 books in the fiction and non-fiction categories. The release said the prize “recognizes writing that captures the spirit of Brooklyn” and library president and CEO Linda E. Johnson said the winners “bring our complex and beloved city to life on the page.”
“I think the librarians just were looking for books, especially these days, that really celebrated the resiliency of New York and celebrated the people,” Taylor said. “I think that they were, like many New Yorkers, feeling the effects of the pandemic and the book is meant to celebrate the resiliency of New Yorkers, so I’m glad they picked up on that.”
Taylor said it’s gratifying to know that New Yorkers are reading and appreciating the book, especially since he wrote about them and their city from an outsider’s perspective.
“You can’t get things past New Yorkers. They would sniff out a fraud in a second…” he said. “It’s great that this validated the idea that this is a portrait of the city that feels, to them, authentic. And that really meant a lot to me.”