TouchWood Editions is pleased to announce that E. J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island—the acclaimed biography of the solitary and beloved BC artist, written by Robert Amos—is a finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, one of two prestigious prizes awarded by the Victoria Book Prize Society. The announcement was made September 11.
Also shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes’ Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award earlier this year, E. J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island debuted at #4 on the BC Bestsellers list* in May 2018. The book maintained a position on the list for 43 consecutive weeks, including 21 weeks in the top five, and was the #5 BC Bestseller for 2018.
In 1993, Amos, a longtime fan of Hughes’s work, was delighted to receive a phone call from Hughes’s “biographer, friend, and chauffeur,” Pat Salmon, who invited Amos and his wife, painter and author Sarah Amos, to have lunch with the artist. This meeting led to an acquaintanceship and mutual respect between Amos and Hughes. In 2013, Amos was asked to take over as Hughes’s biographer, and was given Salmon’s extensive selection of notes, photographs, interviews, and images. E. J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island highlights more than 100 of Hughes’s finest works depicting the island, and represents Amos’s first step in sharing the life and work of one of British Columbia’s most recognized artists.
According to the Victoria Book Prize Society, the Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brother Supplies. It is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Founded in 2004, this year marks the sixteenth annual presentation of the award. The winner will receive $5,000.
E. J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island is a finalist in the non-fiction category. Other finalists are: God of Shadows by Lorna Crozier (poetry), Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (fiction), Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod (biography), and Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page (fiction). The winners for this and the Victoria Children’s Book Prize will be awarded at the annual Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 9 at the Union Club of British Columbia.
To view the full list of finalists, visit victoriabookprizes.ca.
* The BC Bestsellers list is compiled by the ABPBC, based on data gathered from more than 70 independent booksellers in BC.