“Sometimes, watching him, it’s like looking at the moon: You see the face of the man in the moon, but you know there’s actually no man there,” Ian Brown writes about his son, Walker, in his 2009 memoir, The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for his Disabled Son. Walker, who was born with cardio-faciocutaneous syndrome (CFC), a rare genetic mutation, “is globally delayed and can’t speak,” Brown tells us. “So I never know what’s wrong. No one does.”

But something everyone does know is that Brown is gold. Really, he is–The Boy in the Moon won the journalist Canada’s two major non-fiction prizes this year. On Monday, Brown was awarded the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction and, on January 15, for the same book, he also received the $40,000 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

When I think of Ian Brown, it’s like thinking of the moon (and The Boy in the Moon too): Untouchable.

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About the author

Michelle Kuran was the Visuals Editor for the Summer 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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