University of Regina alumnus and 2011 nominee for the Charles Taylor Prize for the best Canadian work of literary non-fiction Ross King says his experience at the University helped set him on the path to becoming a writer.
"It was at the University of Regina that I really became interested in art, literature and history," says King.
King, whose most recent book is entitled Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, appeared on a special edition of CTV's Arts & Minds on February 12. The program featured a conversation with the five authors nominated for this year's Charles Taylor Prize. The hour-long program will air again on CTV's Bravo! channel on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. central time.
After attending school in North Portal, Bienfait and Estevan, King completed a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1983 and a Master of Arts in English at the University of Regina in 1986. He completed his PhD in 1992 at York University and moved to England to take on a research fellowship at London's University College.
"I spent many years studying at university, and it was in the classroom that I not only developed my interests in the wider world of culture, but I also learned, from a host of good professors, how to research, write and make my arguments," says King. "I'll always be grateful for those opportunities."
King's first novel, Domino, was published in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1995, appearing in Canada shortly thereafter. His second novel, Ex-Libris, was published in the UK in 1998. His non-fictional Brunelleschi's Dome, published in both the UK and the United States in 2000, was chosen the Book Sense Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year, spending several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. King's second popular history book, the best-selling Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, was published in 2002 in the UK and North America. It was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2003.
In 2006, King won the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction for The Judgment of Paris: the Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism. He was also nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize in that year."On behalf of the University of Regina community, I congratulate Dr. King for being nominated for the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize," says Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. "One of our most distinguished alumni, Dr. King is an inspiration to everyone at the University of Regina. We are proud to call him our own."
The Charles Taylor Prize commemorates Charles Taylor's pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction.