The fall literary awards season is upon us! Read on to learn all about the authors who have become finalists over the past week and the wonderful, transfiguring reads that are up for some of Canada’s most prestigious awards.
2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction Finalist: You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. by Sheung-King
It has been a year since Sheung-King’s debut novel was first released into the world and we are delighted to know it is still making waves. A finalist for the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, longlisted for Canada Reads 2021, and a Globe and Mail Best Book Debut 2020, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is—to quote Amanda Brown’s review for The Puritan—a truly “enthralling debut”.
Embracing the playful surrealism of Haruki Murakami and the atmospheric narratives of filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is at once lyrical and punctuated, and wholly unique. “Sheung-King has written a wonderfully unexpected and maverick love story but also a novel of ideas that hopscotches between Toronto, Macau, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Prague,” writes Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life, “It is enchanting, funny, and a joy to read.”
2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation Finalist: This Radiant Life by Chantal Neveu, translated by Erín Moure
Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with Chantal Neveu and Erín Moure individually on a number of different projects. Now This Radiant Life, their first-ever collaboration, is garnering the praise and admiration of critics and juries across the country.
In this stunning long poem, Chantal Neveu draws from the lexicons of science, art, revolution, and corporeal movement to forge intense and extended rhythms that invoke the elements and spaces making up our world. Through Erín Moure’s flawless translation emerges poetry capable of holding life and death, solidarity, and love. “Powerfully embodied and chiselled by Chantal Neveu and deftly and intricately translated by Erín Moure, This Radiant Life is urgent, alive, and absolutely present,” writes poet and translator Oana Avasilichioaei.
Our sincere congratulations as well to all the other shortlisted authors, translators, and publishers. See the complete list of finalists here.
We, Jane Nominated for Two Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards: the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction & the Concordia University First Book Award!
Our warmest congratulations to Aimee Wall, whose debut novel, We, Jane, has been shortlisted for two Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards: the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Concordia University First Book Award! These latest nominations arrive on the heels of We, Jane’s inclusion on the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. We couldn’t be happier with the novel’s reception, and its clear and immediate impact on readers everywhere.
We, Jane explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion. “The book is ultimately a feminist tale, one that shows how complicated and manipulative relationships between women can be, while implying the necessity of coming together for a greater purpose,” writes Yara El-Soueidi in the Montreal Review of Books. “This is writing that sings,” adds Steven Beattie for That Shakespearean Rag.
Permanent Revolution Shortlisted for Le Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2021
Congratulations to the ever-inimitable Gail Scott, whose latest book, Permanent Revolution, a collection of new essays gathered alongside a recreation of her groundbreaking text, Spaces Like Stairs, is a finalist for Le Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2021!
Here’s what the jury for Le Grand Prix du livre de Montreal has to say about Permanent Revolution: “What is a tragic heroine? This is the sort of question behind the innovative trajectory of Gail Scott, a writer who has over the decades achieved the status of véritable icône of Montreal’s literary scene. Her writing is shot through with a great expérience of life and a remarkable degree of wisdom. For her, “writing is a matter of ear: it is what one hears in words on the page that takes work out of the straitjacket of commodifying literary conventions.” Her work is both humourous and érudite and her attention to the material aspect of language creates a spiral of thinking that is absolutely captivating, a spiral calling for Permanent Revolutions, as the title suggests, for Scott is not afraid to re-actualize her propositions. Radical and constantly curious, the intelligence at work in this collection of texts offering, as soon as one starts to read, an experience of resolute jouissance. ”
Vancouver for Beginners a Finalist for City of Vancouver Book Award
Big congratulations to Alex Leslie, whose very special poetry collection Vancouver for Beginners is a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award! Previously the winner of the 2020 Lohn Foundation Prize for Poetry from the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards, we are thrilled to see this book in such wonderful company.
In Vancouver for Beginners, the nostalgia of place is dissected through the mapping of a city where readers are led past surrealist development proposals, post-apocalyptic postcards, childhood landmarks long gone, and a developer who paces at the city’s edge, shoring it up with aquariums. “Ingenious, mesmerizing and gorgeously written,” writes Ayelet Tsabari, co-editor of Tongues: On Longing and Belonging through Language, “Vancouver for Beginners showcases Leslie’s remarkable talent and singular voice. It conjures an imagined city that is many cities, a place as fantastical as it is achingly real, a city of the dead and the living, of plexiglass cliffs and electric trees. This is a book to savour and reread.”
That’s all for now! Please join us again in congratulating Sheung-King, Erín Moure, Aimee Wall, Gail Scott, and Alex Leslie! All books are available through our online shop or from your local independent bookstore today. Happy reading!
Sheung-King is a writer and educator originally from Hong Kong. His work has appeared in PRISM International, The Shanghai Literary Review, and The Humber Literary Review, among others. His debut book, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked., was a finalist for the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award and was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads. He currently lives in China.
Erín Moure has published over forty books, including poetry, essays, memoir, and translations/co-translations from French, Spanish, Galician, Portuguese, Portunhol, and Ukrainian. Recent translations: In Leaf by Rosalía de Castro, The Uplands: Book of the Courel by Uxío Novoneyra, and Sleepless Nights Under Capitalism by Juan Gelman. Moure holds two honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and Spain, was a 2017 Creative Fellow at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, and the 2019 International Translator in Residence at Queen’s College, Oxford. Moure lives in Montreal.
Aimee Wall is a writer and translator. Her essays, short fiction, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Maisonneuve, Matrix Magazine, the Montreal Review of Books, and Lemon Hound. Wall’s translations include Vickie Gendreau’s novels Testament (2016), and Drama Queens (2019), and Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard (2017). Born in Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal. We, Jane is her first novel.
Gail Scott is the author of Spare Parts (1981), Heroine (1987; finalist for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction; re-issued in 2019 with an introduction by Eileen Myles), Main Brides (1993; finalist for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction), My Paris (1999), Spare Parts Plus Two (2002), and The Obituary (2010; shortlisted for Le Grand Prix du livre de Montreal). Her essays are collected in Spaces Like Stairs (1989) and in La Théorie, un dimanche (1988) which was translated into English as Theory, A Sunday (2013). Scott is co-editor of the New Narrative anthology: Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative (2004; shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award for Nonfiction Anthologies). Her translation of Michael Delisle’s Le désarroi du matelot was shortlisted for a 2001 Governor General’s Literary Award. A memoir, based in Lower Manhattan during the early Obama years, is forthcoming. Scott lives in Montréal.
Alex Leslie was born and lives in Vancouver. She is the author of two short story collections, We All Need to Eat, a finalist for the 2019 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the 2020 Nancy Richler Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the 2020 Kobzar Award, and People Who Disappear, a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction and the 2013 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of two prose poetry collections, Vancouver for Beginners, winner of the 2020 Lohn Foundation Prize for Poetry, The things I heard about you, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Alex’s writing has been included in the Journey Prize Anthology, The Best of Canadian Poetry in English, and in a special issue of Granta spotlighting Canadian writing, co-edited by Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. She has received a CBC Literary Award, a Gold National Magazine Award, and the 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.