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UTSC's Andrew Westoll wins Charles Taylor Prize

Andrew Westoll

Andrew Westoll won the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for his book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. The book tells the true story of a group of chimpanzees who were rescued from an American biomedical laboratory.

"The real value of the prize is in getting to talk about the work you've done," Westoll said as he accepted the $25,000 prize.

Westoll is assistant director, editorial in UTSC's Department of Communications & Public Affairs, and is editor of UTSC Commons magazine. He's also an award-winning magazine journalist, and the author of a previous well-received literary non-fiction book called The Riverbones.

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary movingly recounts Westoll’s experience at Fauna Sanctuary in Quebec, where he spent ten weeks living and working as a volunteer caregiver. The narrative intersperses light-hearted stories of the chimps' amazing recovery with darker stories of their experiences in the labs, including infection with human viruses and repeated invasive surgeries.

The Charles Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian literary non-fiction. Westoll was one of five authors short-listed for the prize from among 115 nominees. Noreen Taylor, founder of the prize, announced the winner today during a luncheon, hosted by the CBC's Mary Ito, at Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

Read Andrew Westoll discussing his book with UTSC vice-principal, research Malcolm Campbell here.


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