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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
August 29, 2016
Canadian Excellence


2001: Taras Grescoe

The information below is adapted from the news release issued in 2001

Sacré Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec is the winner of the 2001 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Sacré Blues is Taras Grescoe's attempt to understand the rituals, eccentricities and customs of his new home after moving from the west coast to Quebec in 1996. The author explores the cultural, aboriginal and political landscapes, bringing to light many of the personalities who are defining the new Quebec. He is particularly hard-hitting in his analysis of the xenophobia of the Quebecois who, he says, are missing opportunities for their own greatness.

"The judges felt that Sacré Blues provides a no-holds-barred approach to the study of modern Quebec," says Staebler award administrator Kathryn Wardropper. "As a new 'insider,' he brings a journalist's zeal to his research and presents a fresh, even irreverent portrait of Quebec and its peoples. It may infuriate some, but it is a landmark book that portrays the challenges and opportunities for modern Quebec."

Taras Grescoe was born in Toronto and raised in Vancouver and Calgary. He spent four years in Paris in the early nineties, writing and teaching English. He has written about foreign cultures for such publications as the Times of London, The Chicago Tribune Magazine and Wired, and about Quebec for National Geographic Traveler, Saturday Night and the New York TimesSacré Blues is his first book.

Other Publications by Taras Grescoe: 

  • Bottomfeeder: How the Fish on Our Plates is Killing Our Planet (2008)
  • The Devil's Picnic: A Tour of Everything the Governments of the World Don't Want You to Try (2006)
  • The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among The Tourists (2004)

The shortlist for the 2001 Edna Staebler Award also included:

  • In For A Penny, In For A Pound by Howard Hewer (Stoddart);
  • Mary Pratt: A Personal Calligraphy by Mary Pratt (GooseLane Editions);
  • River In A Dry Land: A Prairie Passage by Trevor Herriot (Stoddart).