Shortlisted for the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Featured on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos
Longlisted for the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Shortly after completing his sixth novel, Ray Robertson suffered a depression of suicidal intensity. Soon after his recovery, he decided to try and answer two of the biggest questions we can ask. What makes humans happy? And what makes a life worth living?
His answers aren’t what you might expect from a mental illness memoir—but they’re exactly what you’d expect from Ray Robertson. With the vitality of Nick Hornby and a brashness all his own, Robertson runs his hands over life, death, intoxication, and art. Unashamedly working-class and unabashedly literary, Why Not? is a rolling, rocking, anti-Sisyphean odyssey.
“Clear-eyed … Robertson is no stranger to confronting unsavoury truths.”—Steven Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag
“Many of us sense that the world has too many moving parts and can become utterly defeated. Ray Robertson found a ‘road back’ in this splendid and intriguing book.” —Jim Harrison
“Both playful and profound, laced with insight from thinkers across a range of disciplines, from music to history, politics to literature, high to low culture.”—National Post
“strong – heartfelt, funny, rigorous, practical without ever being preachy…a book that feels like a friend.”—Montreal Gazette
“a learned, clear-sighted and occasionally funny collection of essays…highly persuasive”—Winnipeg Free Press
“Thoughtful meditations on the big questions of life (and death) … Readers will not doubt their authenticity.”—The Globe and Mail
Ray Robertson’s Why Not? is first among the “five Canadian books you may not necessarily hear much about,” but which “should be on reading radars everywhere.” —The Globe and Mail