Awards

  • Winner of the 2016 Plutarch Award, Biographers International Organization
  • The RBC Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction for Stalin’s Daughter, 2016.
  • The BC National Non-Fiction Prize for Stalin’s Daughter, 2016.
  • Winner of the 2015 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction
  • Finalist for the American PEN /Bograd Weld Award for Biography for Stalin’s Daughter, 2016.
  • Finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award for Stalin’s Daughter, 2016.
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, conferred by the Governor General of Canada, 2012, for distinguished contribution to Canadian Arts and Culture.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012.
  • The Lorne Pierce Medal for Major Contribution to Canadian Literature, the Royal Society of Canada, 2008.
  • The Canadian Society for YadVashem Award in Holocaust History, the Helen and Stan Vine Annual Canadian Jewish Book Awards for Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille 2007.
  • The Different Drummer Independent Bookseller’s Award for the best book of Non-Fiction in 2006 for Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille 2007.
  • Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction for Shadow Maker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen, 1995.
  • Canadian Authors’ Association Prize for Non-fiction for Shadow Maker, 1996.
  • University of British Columbia President’s Medal for Canadian Biography for Shadow Maker, 1996.
  • City of Toronto Book Prize for Shadow Maker, 1996.
  • Short-listed for Ontario Trillium Prize for Shadow Maker, 1996.
  • Short-listed for Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction,for By Heart: Elizabeth Smart/ A Life, 1991.
  • Gerald Lampert Memorial Award: best first book of poetry published in Canada in 1986 (League of Canadian Poets) for The Space A Name Makes.
  • Western Journalism Award: First Prize: Category: Travel, “Egypt,” Border Crossings, Winter 1997, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 2–38.
  • Nomination for a National Magazine Award for poetry, 1989, “Life Sentence,” Border Crossings, Vol. 7, No. 4, October 1988; Nomination for a National Magazine Award for poetry, 2000, “Granada Notebook,” Border Crossings, Vol. 18, No. 4, 1999.
  • 1986 Silver Medal, National Magazine Award for “Muse in a Female Ghetto: A Portrait of Elizabeth Smart,” This Magazine, vol. 20, No. 3, August/September 1986, pp. 22–25.
Officer of the order of Canada

Honors and Fellowships

  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Senior Fellow, 2008–11
  • Jackman Humanities Institute Senior Fellow, 2008–09
  • Canada Research Chair in Literature, University of Toronto, 2001–2011.
  • Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Cassis France, Fall 2005.
  • Elected to the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, 2004.
  • Maclean Hunter Chair of Creative Non-Fiction/ Literary Journalism Program. The Banff Centre for the Arts, 2004–2007
  • Connaught Fellowship, 2002.
  • Elected Associate Senior Fellow, Massey College, 1999.
  • Killam Fellowship, 1996–98.
  • Canada-United States-Mexico Artist Residency Award, Mexico City, 5 June – 28 July 1995.
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1992.
  • Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, three month residency, University of Dharwar, Karnataka, India, May 15 – June 30, 1982.
  • McGill University Scholar, 1964–68.