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By Madeleine Thien. 2016
The author takes us inside two talented families of musicians in China and the lives of two entwined generations -…those who weathered Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and their children, who became the 1989 Tiananmen Square protesters during one of the most important political moments of the past century. Bestseller. Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. 2016.
By Cherie Dimaline. 2017
In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led…to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's indigenous population - and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow - and dreams - means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing 'factories.' For senior high readers. Bestseller. Canada Reads 2018. Winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Young People's Literature and the 2018 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. Winner of the 2018 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature. 2017.
By Darrel McLeod. 2018
Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family's history. In…shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. Darrel was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life. However, in a spiral of events, Darrel's mother turned wild and unstable, and their home life became chaotic. Sweet and innocent by nature, Darrel struggled to maintain his grades and pursue an interest in music while changing homes many times, witnessing violence, caring for his younger siblings and suffering abuse at the hands of his surrogate father. Meanwhile, his older brother's gender transition provoked Darrel to deeply question his own sexual identity. Winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction. 2018.
By David Robertson, Julie Flett. 2016
When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why…does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. Winner of the 2017 McNally Robinson Books for Young People Awards (younger). Grades K-3 and older readers. 2016.
By Souvankham Thammavongsa. 2020
Named one of the best books of spring 2020 by The New York Times, Salon, The Millions, and Vogue, and…featuring stories that have appeared in Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, this revelatory book of fiction from O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa establishes her as an essential new voice in Canadian and world literature. Told with compassion and wry humour, these stories honour characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary "grunt work of the world." A young man painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A father who packs furniture to move into homes he'll never afford. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. In her stunning debut book of fiction, O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa focuses on characters struggling to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. In spare, intimate prose charged with emotional power and a sly wit, she paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. As one of Thammavongsa's characters says, "All we wanted was to live." And in these stories, they do--brightly, ferociously, unforgettably.A daughter becomes an unwilling accomplice in her mother's growing infatuation with country singer Randy Travis. A boxer finds an unexpected chance at redemption while working at his sister's nail salon. An older woman finds her assumptions about the limits of love unravelling when she begins a relationship with her much younger neighbour. A school bus driver must grapple with how much he's willing to give up in order to belong. And in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize-shortlisted title story, a young girl's unconditional love for her father transcends language.Unsentimental yet tender, and fiercely alive, How to Pronounce Knife announces Souvankham Thammavongsa as one of the most striking voices of her generation. Bestseller. Winner of the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
By Joan Thomas. 2019
1956. A small group of evangelical Christian missionaries and their families journeyed to the rainforest in Ecuador intending to convert…the Waorani, a people who had never had contact with the outside world. Calling it Operation Auca, the group spent several days dropping gifts from an aircraft, and then the five men in the party rashly entered the "intangible zone." They were all killed, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves. A fictionalized account of the real-life women who were left behind, and their struggles - with grief, with doubt, and with each other - as they continued to pursue their evangelical mission in the face of the explosion of fame that followed their husbands' deaths. Winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Bestseller. 2019.
By Saleema Nawaz. 2020
"In these dark days, Saleema Nawaz dares to write of hope. Songs for the End of the World is a…loving, vivid, tenderly felt novel about men, women, and a possible apocalypse. I couldn't put it down." -- Sean Michaels, author of Us Conductors and The WagersFrom the award-winning, Canada Reads-shortlisted author of Bone and Bread comes a spellbinding and immersive novel about the power of community and the triumph of human connection, as the bonds of love, family, and duty are tested by an impending pandemic.How quickly he'd forgotten a fundamental truth: the closer you got to the heart of a calamity, the more resilience there was to be found. This is the story of a handful of people who find themselves living through an unfolding catastrophe. Elliot is a first responder in New York, a man running from past failures and struggling to do the right thing. Emma is a pregnant singer preparing to headline a benefit concert for victims of the outbreak--all while questioning what kind of world her child is coming into. Owen is the author of a bestselling plague novel with eerie similarities to the real-life pandemic. As fact and fiction begin to blur, he must decide whether his lifelong instinct for self-preservation has been worth the cost. As the novel moves back and forth in time, we discover these characters' ties to one another and to those whose lives intersect with theirs, in an extraordinary web of connection and community that reveals none of us is ever truly alone. Linking them all is the mystery of the so-called ARAMIS Girl, a woman at the first infection site whose unknown identity and whereabouts cause a furor. Written and revised between 2013 and 2019, and brilliantly told by an unforgettable chorus of voices, Saleema Nawaz's glittering novel is a moving and hopeful meditation on what we owe to ourselves and to each other. It reminds us that disaster can bring out the best in people--and that coming together may be what saves us in the end.
By Catherine Hernandez. 2020
The author of the acclaimed novel Scarborough weaves an unforgettable and timely dystopian account of a near-future when a queer…Black performer and his allies join forces against an oppressive regime that is rounding up those deemed “Other” in concentration camps. In a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods that lead to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called the Boots seizes the opportunity to force communities of colour, the disabled and the LGBTQ2S into labour camps in the city of Toronto.In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After his livelihood and the love of his life are taken away, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer who helps them plan an uprising at a major internationally televised event.With her signature prose, described by Booklist as “raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful,” Catherine Hernandez creates a vision of the future that is all the more terrifying because it is very possible. A cautionary tale filled with fierce and vibrant characters, Crosshairs explores the universal desire to thrive, to love and to be loved as your true self.
By Shaena Lambert. 2020
Inspired by Petra Kelly, the original Green Party leader and political activist who fought for the planet in 1980s Germany,…Shaena Lambert brings us a captivating new novel about a woman who changed history and transformed environmental politics--and who, like many history-changing women, has been largely erased. Award-winning novelist Madeleine Thien calls Petra "a masterpiece--a fierce, humane and powerful novel for our times."January, 1980. At the height of the Cold War, Petra Kelly inspires hundreds of thousands to take to the streets to protest the placement of nuclear missiles on West German soil--including a NATO general named Emil Gerhardt, who shocks the establishment by converting to the cause. Petra and her general not only vault to fame as the stars of the Green Party, but they also fall in love. Then Manfred Schwartz, an ex-lover, urges Petra to draw back the curtain on Emil's war record, and they enter a world both complicated and threatening.Told by Manfred Schwartz, from his place in a present world even more beset by existential threats, Petra is an exploration of love, jealousy, and the power of social change. A woman capable of founding a new and world-changing politics and taking on two superpowers, Petra still must grapple with her own complex nature and a singular and fatal love.
By David A. Robertson. 2020
“An instant classic that demands to be read with your heart open and with a perspective widened to allow in…a whole new understanding of family, identity, and love.” —Cherie DimalineA son who grew up away from his Indigenous culture takes his Cree father on a trip to their family's trapline, and finds that revisiting the past not only heals old wounds but creates a new future.The son of a Cree father and a non-Indigenous mother, David A. Robertson was raised with virtually no knowledge or understanding of his family’s Indigenous roots. His father, Don, spent his early childhood on a trapline in the bush northeast of Norway House, Manitoba, where his first teach was the land. When his family was moved permanently to a nearby reserve, Don was not permitted to speak Cree at school unless in secret with his friends and lost the knowledge he had been gifted while living on his trapline. His mother, Beverly, grew up in a small Manitoba town with not a single Indigenous family in it. Then Don arrived, the new United Church minister, and they fell in love. Structured around a father-son journey to the northern trapline where Robertson and his father will reclaim their connection to the land, Black Water is the story of another journey: a young man seeking to understand his father's story, to come to terms with his lifelong experience with anxiety, and to finally piece together his own blood memory, the parts of his identity that are woven into the fabric of his DNA.