TORONTO - Two books touching on politics and war, and biographies on ballerina Celia Franca, poet P.K. Page and artist Leonardo da Vinci have made the short list for this year's $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
The five finalists announced Wednesday include "Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada's World Wars" (Allen Lane) by Ottawa historian Tim Cook, who won the Charles Taylor prize in 2009 for "Shock Troops."
Also on this year's short list is Saskatchewan-born Ross King for "Leonardo and The Last Supper" (Bond Street Books), which won a Governor General's Literary Award in November.
Ontario native Andrew Preston is a contender for "Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy" (Knopf Canada).
Carol Bishop-Gwyn of Toronto is a finalist for "The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca" (Cormorant Books), about the late founder of the National Ballet of Canada.
And Vancouver's Sandra Djwa made the cut with "Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page" (McGill-Queen's University Press).
Finalists were chosen from a field of 129 books submitted by 43 publishers from around the world.
The winner — decided by jurors Susanne Boyce, Richard Gwyn and Joseph Kertes — will be announced on March 4 in Toronto.
Last year's winner was Toronto author Andrew Westoll for "The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery."