In a field of memoirs dominated by stories about family, debut author Kate Harris’ book Lands of Lost Borders was chosen as winner of the $25,000 RBC Taylor Prize at a gala luncheon in Toronto Monday.
Harris thanked her parents and teachers and “everyone who instilled in me a love for exploration” in an impromptu speech. When she was young, Harris wanted to go to Mars. She didn’t make it there, but she did trace Marco Polo’s Silk Road by bicycle, and wrote about the experience in Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road published by Knopf Canada.
It was the first time in the prize’s 21-year history that the shortlist was comprised solely of memoirs.