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December 3, 2016
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Joshua Knelman wins the 2012 Edna Staebler Award

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 7/12| For Immediate Release


Ute Lischke, Professor
Department of English and Film Studies
519-884-0710 ext. 3607 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Joshua Knelman has won the 2012 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives through the Secret World of Stolen Art (Douglas & McIntyre, 2011). The award will be presented at a dinner and presentation Nov. 13 in Waterloo.

Hot Art is a hugely satisfying and meticulously researched real-life detective story that will surprise and intrigue you,” said Ute Lischke, award juror and Laurier professor of English and Film Studies.

In Hot Art, Knelman takes what seems like a rarefied topic — art theft — and produces an engrossing narrative that is as riveting as any best-selling mystery novel. Knelman spent four years immersed in the world of international art theft, traveling around the globe to Cairo, New York, London, Montreal and Los Angeles. He befriended a master thief, a lawyer and expert on crimes against art, and a hard-working detective. Even readers who aren’t mourning the loss of the family Monet will be drawn into Knelman’s portrait of calculating art thieves and the handful of dedicated investigators who track them around the globe, often for years at a time.

Knelman is a writer and editor based in Toronto. He was a founding editorial member of The Walrus magazine, and his writing has appeared in Toronto Life, Saturday Night, The National Post and The Globe and Mail. Knelman’s feature article “Artful Crimes” in The Walrus won a gold National Magazine Award. Hot Art has also won the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Nonfiction. Knelman is the co-editor of Four Letter Word: New Love Letters. For the 2011-12 academic year, he was the Barbara Moon Editorial Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He produces the Literary Review of Canada's speaker series, in partnership with TVO's Big Ideas, at the Gardiner Museum.

In addition to Hot Art, the shortlist for the 2012 Edna Staebler Award also included: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery (Harper Collins, 2011) by Andrew Westoll and Most of Me: Surviving My Medical Meltdown (Greystone Books, 2012) by Robyn Michele Levy.

An award presentation for Knelman will take place Nov. 13 at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, starting at 7 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber. A second presentation will occur in 2013 at Laurier’s Brantford campus.

Register for the award presentation at

About the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
Established and endowed by writer and award-winning journalist Edna Staebler, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, the only university in Canada to bestow a nationally recognized literary award. The $10,000 award encourages and recognizes Canadian writers for a first or second work of creative non-fiction that includes a Canadian locale and/or significance. Winning books are distinguished by first-hand research, well-crafted interpretive writing and a creative use of language or approach to the subject matter. Previous winners include authors Linden MacIntyre, Wayson Choy and Elizabeth Hay. The award was established in 1991.


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