For the past month, we've been posting excerpts from the five finalists vying for the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction: Wade Davis, Charlotte Gill, JJ Lee, Madeline Sonik and Andrew Westoll. The 2012 winner will receive $25,000 in cash, plus all the glory that goes along with being deemed "the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception." He or she will also be invited to read at the International Festival of Authors in October.
The winner will be announced at a luncheon in Toronto, this Monday (March 5). Huffpost.ca readers will have exclusive access to the event as we will be livestreaming it right here between 1 p.m and 1:30 p.m. But before the judges announce their pick, we thought our readers might have fun voting for their favorite. Below are all five excerpts: Vote for the one you like best. We will announce our reader's choice on the morning of the award ceremony.
ANDREW WESTOLL: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary
"Two massive chimps are thrashing about on the walkway of the north playroom. They are a ball of flailing limbs, gnashing teeth, and high-pitched shrieks, and all the other chimps in the building are screaming and crashing in their rooms like manic cheerleaders, watching the battle play out." Click here to read more.
CHARLOTTE GILL: Eating Dirt
"Some people think planting trees is as boring and crazy making as stuffing envelopes or a climbing a StairMaster. A field is a setting so full of all-enveloping sensations that it just sweeps you up and spirits you away, like Vegas does to gamblers or Mount Everest to climbers." Click here to read more.
MADELINE SONIK: Afflictions and Departures
"My father does not tell me that U.S. soldiers were ordered to slaughter South Korean refugees--that they machine gunned old women and small children because they might have been Northern spies. If my father knows about such things, he does not speak of them. It is decades before anyone publicly will." Click here to read more.
WADE DAVIS: Into the Silence
"George Mallory and Sandy Irvine crested the northeast ridge of Everest and were going strong for the summit when the mist rolled in and enveloped their memory in myth. Never were they seen alive again. Whether they reached the summit of the world before meeting their end has long haunted the mountaineering community." Click here to read more.
JJ LEE: The Measure of a Man
"The suit attracts and repels me. It came to me under the saddest of circumstances, and I've dared to wear it in public only once. Most of the time I try to ignore it, and so years can go by without my touching it. But even so, I always know it's there. This is my father's suit." Click here to read more.