My book Race to the Polar Sea, which is now surfacing in paperback from HarperCollins Canada, has won Honourable Mention in the Keith Matthews Award competition sponsored by the Canadian Nautical Research Society. The annual award recognizes the best book on a maritime topic.
The judges described the work, which tells the story of Arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane, as "engagingly written, impressively researched, and engrossing." The author's discovery of a long-lost journal, they wrote, as well as his "effective interweaving of documentary and published evidence, and his infectious enthusiasm for the subject, combine to resurrect Kane as an important figure in the history of Canada's north."
Sure, they went on a bit, but why not? "Parts biography, adventure tale, and romance, this work makes an important contribution to Arctic and environmental history."
The winning book was At the Far Reaches of Empire by Freeman Tovell, which celebrates a Spanish sea captain, Bodega y Quadra, who explored the Pacific Northwest prior to 1800. The Nautical Research Society doubles as the Canadian national sub-commission of the International Commission for Maritime History.