It’s my pleasure to announce that Joshua Knelman has won the 2012 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for his fantastic book Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the World of Stolen Art (Douglas & McIntyre). As one of the judges for this year’s awards, this is how I summed up our thoughts about the book:
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 will receive his award at a dinner I’ll be emceeing at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus on Tuesday, November 4. The next day, Knelman will read from his book at Laurier Brantford. I’m looking forward to meeting him and introducing his book to a wider audience.