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A GHOST IN THE THROAT wins the JAMES TAIT BLACK BIOGRAPHY PRIZE

A Ghost in the Throat coverWe’re thrilled to share that on August 25, 2021, it was announced that Doireann Ní Ghríofa won the James Tait Black Biography Prize for her book A Ghost in the Throat!

Biography Judge Dr Simon Cooke, of the University of Edinburgh, called A Ghost in the Throat,

“A work of great and searching depth and generosity, as involving as it is luminous, that weaves poetry, memoir, biography and translation into a powerful celebration of female texts and a profound exploration of the way the voice and life of one poet echoes in the life and voice of another.”

The James Tait Black Prizes for Biography and Fiction are the UK’s longest-running literary awards. The winners are awarded £10,000. Doireann Ní Ghríofa won the Biography Prize while Shola von Reinhold won the Fiction Prize for their novel Lote (Jacaranda).

Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s book was chosen from a biography shortlist that featured The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire (Yale) by Kate Fullagar; Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture (Allen Lane) by Sudhir Hazareesingh; and Recollections of My Non-Existence (Granta) by Rebecca Solnit.

The winners of the £10,000 prizes were announced by author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson at a pre-recorded event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Learn about the James Tait Black Prizes here.

 

ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT

When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.

On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who has narrowly avoided her own fatal tragedy. When she realizes that the literature dedicated to the poem reduces Eibhlín Dubh’s life to flimsy sketches, she wants more: the details of the poet’s girlhood and old age; her unique rages, joys, sorrows, and desires; the shape of her days and site of her final place of rest. What follows is an adventure in which Doireann Ní Ghríofa sets out to discover Eibhlín Dubh’s erased life—and in doing so, discovers her own.

Moving fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and those who make it, A Ghost in the Throat is a shapeshifting book: a record of literary obsession; a narrative about the erasure of a people, of a language, of women; a meditation on motherhood and on translation; and an unforgettable story about finding your voice by freeing another’s.

ABOUT DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, whose awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University). Her debut book of prose is the bestselling A Ghost in the Throat, which finds the 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother, prompting her to turn detective, and of which the Sunday Times writes: “Sumptuous, almost symphonic, in its intensity … As readers, we should be grateful for her boldness. Without it, we would not have had one of the best books of this dreadful year.”

 

Check out A Ghost in the Throat at Biblioasis here!

 

ON PROPERTY nominated for the TORONTO BOOK AWARDS

Book cover for Rinaldo Walcott's On Property. Features the author's name and title at the top with "Field Notes" written on the side vertically. Overlapping the title is a security camera.We’re excited to announce that Rinaldo Walcott’s On Property has been nominated for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards! The longlist was announced yesterday on June 29, 2021. Rinaldo Walcott is one of 10 authors on the longlist. The shortlist will be announced in August 2021.

Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by the city. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money with shortlisted authors receiving $1,000 each and the winner taking home $10,000.

There are no separate categories: novels, short story collections, books of poetry, books on history, politics and social issues, biographies, books about sports, children’s and young adult books, graphic novels and photographic collections are judged together.

Jurors for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards narrowed the field from a record-setting 93 submissions to just 10 books. The 2021 Book Awards Jury was made up of Geoffrey E. Taylor, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Andy Stanleigh, Angela Wright, and Sanchari Sur.

The other books on the 2021 longlist are Missing From the Village by Justin Ling (Penguin/Random House), Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing (Penguin/Random House), Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (Simon & Schuster), Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham (Wolsak & Wynn), Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible Publishing), Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin (Penguin/Random House), Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (Harper Collins Canada), The Good Fight by Ted Staunton, & illustrated by Josh Rosen (Scholastic Canada), and Unravel by Sharon Jennings (Red Deer Press). Last year’s winner was The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole (Doubleday Canada).

 

ABOUT ON PROPERTY

Photo Credit: Abdi Osman

From plantation rebellion to prison labour’s super-exploitation, Walcott examines the relationship between policing and property.

That a man can lose his life for passing a fake $20 bill when we know our economies are flush with fake money says something damning about the way we’ve organized society. Yet the intensity of the calls to abolish the police after George Floyd’s death surprised almost everyone. What, exactly, does abolition mean? How did we get here? And what does property have to do with it? In On Property, Rinaldo Walcott explores the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife and shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work of their forebears in service of an imaginative, creative philosophy that ensures freedom and equality for all. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, compassionate, and profound, On Property makes an urgent plea for a new ethics of care.

 

ABOUT RINALDO WALCOTT

Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, gender and sexuality.

 

Get your copy of On Property from Biblioasis here!

IF YOU HEAR ME wins the 2020 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S LITERARY AWARD IN TRANSLATION

Biblioasis is thrilled to share that this morning on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, it was announced by the Canada Council for the Arts that If You Hear Me by Pascale Quiviger & translated by Lazer Lederhendler (March 3, 2020) has won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation! As the winning translator, Lazer Lederhendler is awarded $25,000 CAD. All finalists received $1,000 CAD. This is Lazer Lederhendler’s third time winning the Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation. He previously won for The Party Wall in 2016 (Biblioasis) and Nikolski in 2008 (Knopf Canada).

In a statement, publisher Dan Wells said, “All of us at Biblioasis are very happy that Lazer Lederhendler’s translation of Pascale Quiviger’s If You Hear Me has won the Governor General’s Award for Translation. Lazer has long been one of the very best translators in the country, as this, his sixth nomination and third win for the Governor General’s Award attest: it’s been an honour and joy to work with him on If You Hear Me, and we thank the jury for their support and acknowledgement of his incredible work.”

If You Hear Me was chosen as the winner by a peer assessment committee that included Angela Carr, Jo-Anne Elder, and Nigel Spencer. Here’s what they had to say in praise of the book:

“Lazer Lederhendler has presented challenging subject matter with sensitivity, nuance and elegance. His language is powerful yet limpid, understated yet heartbreaking, and lightly humorous. He delicately navigates complex layers of trauma in the immigrant and the patient, lingering between life and death, dream and reality. The finely drawn characters in this novel wait, as we all do, for release.”

The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people’s literature—text, young people’s literature—illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

The other finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation were Amaryllis & Little Witch by Pascal Brullemans & translated by Alexis Diamond (Playwrights Canada Press), Back Roads by Andrée A. Michaud & translated by J. C. Sutcliffe (House of Anansi), The Country Will Bring Us No Peace by Matthieu Simard & translated by Pablo Strauss (Coach House Books), and The Neptune Room by Bertrand Laverdure & translated by Oana Avasilichioaei (Book*hug Press).

To celebrate the win, Biblioasis is hosting a virtual event on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 2 PM EDT with both Pascale Quiviger and Lazer Lederhendler. There will be a discussion, a Q&A, and a book giveaway! Stay tuned for more details.

ABOUT IF YOU HEAR ME

Sliding doors open and close automatically, exit to the left, entrance to the right. Beyond it, cars go by, and pedestrians and cyclists. A large park behaves as if nothing has happened. The mirage of a world intact.

In an instant, a life can change forever. After he falls from a scaffold on the construction site where he works, David, deep in a coma, is visited regularly by his wife, Caroline, and their six-year-old son Bertrand. Yet despite their devotion, there seems to be no crossing the divide between consciousness and the mysterious world David now inhabits. Devastated by loss and the reality that their own lives must go on, the mourners face difficult questions. How do we communicate when language fails? When, and how, do we move forward? What constitutes a life, and can there be such a thing as a good death? All the while, David’s inner world unfolds, shifting from sensory perceptions, to memories of loved ones, to nightmare landscapes from his family’s past in WWII Poland.

Elegantly translated by Lazer Lederhendler, If You Hear Me is a gripping account of a woman’s struggle to let go of the husband whose mind is lost to her while his body lives on in the bittersweet present, and a deft rendering of the complexity of grief, asking what it means to be alive and how we learn to accept the unacceptable—while at the same time bearing witness to the enduring power of hope, and the ways we find peace in unexpected places.

ABOUT PASCALE QUIVIGER

Born in Montreal, Pascale Quiviger studied visual arts, earned an M.A. in philosophy and did an apprenticeship in print-making in Rome. She has published four novels, a book of short stories and a book of poems, and has written and illustrated two art books. Her novel The Perfect Circle won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in French, and, in English translation, was a finalist for the Giller Prize. The Breakwater House was a finalist for the Prix France-Québec, and If You Hear Me was translated into Spanish. A resident of Italy for more than a decade, Pascale Quiviger now lives with her family in Nottingham, England.

ABOUT LAZER LEDERHENDLER

Lazer Lederhendler is a full-time literary translator specializing in Québécois fiction and non-fiction. His translations have earned awards and distinctions in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A. He has translated the works of noted authors including Gaétan Soucy, Nicolas Dickner, Edem Awumey, Perrine Leblanc, and Catherine Leroux. He lives in Montreal with the visual artist Pierrette Bouchard.

 

Get your copy of If You Hear Me now from Biblioasis!

HERE THE DARK wins the MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD!

We’re thrilled to share that on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 11 AM CDT, it was announced by the Manitoba Book Awards that Here the Dark by David Bergen won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award!

The prize for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award is $2000 CAD. The award recognizes excellence in Manitoba writing. Congratulations to David Bergen!

The other finalists for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award were Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson (HarperCollins), Dragonfly by Lara Rae (J. Gordon Shillingford), My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph (ARP Books), Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin (Signature Editions), and The World is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens (Turnstone Press).

ABOUT HERE THE DARK

From the streets of Danang, Vietnam, where a boy falls in with a young American missionary, to fishermen lost on the islands of Honduras, to the Canadian prairies, where an aging rancher finds himself smitten and a teenage boy’s infatuation reveals his naiveté, the short stories in Here the Dark chronicle the geographies of both place and heart. Featuring a novella about a young woman torn between faith and doubt in a cloistered Mennonite community, David Bergen’s latest deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how, through grace, we can be found.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Bergen has published eight novels and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Impac Dublin Literary Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He won the Giller Prize for his novel The Time in Between. In 2018 he was given the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.

Buy your copy of Here the Dark today at Biblioasis!

IF YOU HEAR ME a finalist for the 2020 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S LITERARY AWARD IN TRANSLATION

We are absolutely delighted that on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, it was announced by the Canada Council for the Arts that If You Hear Me by Pascale Quiviger & translated by Lazer Lederhendler has been shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation!

Each finalist receives $1,000 CAD, and the winner of the award receives $25,000 CAD. In the case of co-creators, the award money is shared. The winners will be announced via press release on June 1, 2021.

The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people’s literature—text, young people’s literature—illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

The other finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation are Amaryllis & Little Witch by Pascal Brullemans & translated by Alexis Diamond (Playwrights Canada Press), Back Roads by Andrée A. Michaud & translated by J. C. Sutcliffe (House of Anansi), The Country Will Bring Us No Peace by Matthieu Simard & translated by Pablo Strauss (Coach House Books), and The Neptune Room by Bertrand Laverdure & translated by Oana Avasilichioaei (Book *hug Press).

ABOUT IF YOU HEAR ME

Sliding doors open and close automatically, exit to the left, entrance to the right. Beyond it, cars go by, and pedestrians and cyclists. A large park behaves as if nothing has happened. The mirage of a world intact.

In an instant, a life can change forever. After he falls from a scaffold on the construction site where he works, David, deep in a coma, is visited regularly by his wife, Caroline, and their six-year-old son Bertrand. Yet despite their devotion, there seems to be no crossing the divide between consciousness and the mysterious world David now inhabits. Devastated by loss and the reality that their own lives must go on, the mourners face difficult questions. How do we communicate when language fails? When, and how, do we move forward? What constitutes a life, and can there be such a thing as a good death? All the while, David’s inner world unfolds, shifting from sensory perceptions, to memories of loved ones, to nightmare landscapes from his family’s past in WWII Poland.

Elegantly translated by Lazer Lederhendler, If You Hear Me is a gripping account of a woman’s struggle to let go of the husband whose mind is lost to her while his body lives on in the bittersweet present, and a deft rendering of the complexity of grief, asking what it means to be alive and how we learn to accept the unacceptable—while at the same time bearing witness to the enduring power of hope, and the ways we find peace in unexpected places.

 

Born in Montreal, Pascale Quiviger studied visual arts, earned an M.A. in philosophy and did an apprenticeship in print-making in Rome. She has published four novels, a book of short stories and a book of poems, and has written and illustrated two art books. Her novel The Perfect Circle won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in French, and, in English translation, was a finalist for the Giller Prize. The Breakwater House was a finalist for the Prix France-Québec, and If You Hear Me was translated into Spanish. A resident of Italy for more than a decade, Pascale Quiviger now lives with her family in Nottingham, England.

Lazer Lederhendler is a full-time literary translator specializing in Québécois fiction and non-fiction. His translations have earned awards and distinctions in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A. He has translated the works of noted authors including Gaétan Soucy, Nicolas Dickner, Edem Awumey, Perrine Leblanc, and Catherine Leroux. He lives in Montreal with the visual artist Pierrette Bouchard.

Order your copy now!

HERE THE DARK a finalist for the MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD and the MARGARET LAURENCE AWARD FOR FICTION!

We at Biblioasis are thrilled to share that on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11 AM CDT, it was announced by the Manitoba Book Awards that Here the Dark by David Bergen has been shortlisted for both the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction!

The prize for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award is $2000 CAD, and the prize for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction is $3500 CAD. The winners for both will be announced online on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 11 AM CDT via social media and media release.

The other finalists for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award are Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson (HarperCollins), Dragonfly by Lara Rae (J. Gordon Shillingford), My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph (ARP Books), Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin (Signature Editions), and The World is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens (Turnstone Press).

The other finalists for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction are Kate Wake by Mariianne Mays Wiebe (DC Books), My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph (ARP Books), Still Me: A Golf Tragedy in 18 Parts by Jeffrey John Eyamie (Turnstone Press), and The Lightning of Possible Storms by Jonathan Ball (Book*hug Press).

ABOUT HERE THE DARK

From the streets of Danang, Vietnam, where a boy falls in with a young American missionary, to fishermen lost on the islands of Honduras, to the Canadian prairies, where an aging rancher finds himself smitten and a teenage boy’s infatuation reveals his naiveté, the short stories in Here the Dark chronicle the geographies of both place and heart. Featuring a novella about a young woman torn between faith and doubt in a cloistered Mennonite community, David Bergen’s latest deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how, through grace, we can be found.

David Bergen HeadshotABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Bergen has published eight novels and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Impac Dublin Literary Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He won the Giller Prize for his novel The Time in Between. In 2018 he was given the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.

Get your copy of Here The Dark now!

STOOP CITY Wins ReLit Award!

Stoop City coverWe’re thrilled to announce that Stoop City by Kristyn Dunnion has won the 2021 ReLit Award in the short fiction category!

Founded in 2000, The ReLit Awards are awarded annually to book-length works in the novel, short-story and poetry categories, and are considered the preeminent literary prize in independent Canadian publishing.

Stoop City was selected from a shortlist which also included Here The Dark by David Bergen (Biblioasis), Seeking Shade by Frances Boyle (Porcupine’s Quill), The Swan Suit by Katherine Fawcett (Douglas & McIntyre), The End Of Me by John Gould (Freehand), Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible), Permanent Tourist by Genni Gunn (Signature Editions), Czech Techno by Mark Anthony Jarman (Anvil Press), Dominoes At The Crossroads by Kaie Kellough (Esplanade), Paradise Island and Other Galaxies by Micheal Mirolla (Exile Editions), and Goth Girls Of Banff by John O’Neill (NeWest Press).

 

ABOUT STOOP CITY

Welcome to Stoop City, where your neighbours include a condo-destroying cat, a teen queen beset by Catholic guilt, and an emergency clinic staffed entirely by lovelorn skeptics. Couples counseling with Marzana, her girlfriend’s ghost, might not be enough to resolve past indiscretions; our heroine could need a death goddess ritual or two. Plus, Hoofy’s not sure if his missing scam-artist boyfriend was picked up by the cops, or by that pretty blonde, their last mark. When Jan takes a room at Plague House, her first year of university takes an unexpected turn—into anarcho-politics and direct action, gender studies and late-night shenanigans with Saffy, her captivating yet cagey housemate.

From the lovelorn Mary Louise, who struggles with butch bachelorhood, to rural teens finding—and found by—adult sexualities, to Grimm’s “The Golden Goose” rendered as a jazz dance spectacle, Kristyn Dunnion’s freewheeling collection fosters a radical revisioning of community. Dunnion goes wherever there’s a story to tell—and then, out of whispers and shouts, echoes and snippets, gritty realism and speculative fiction, illuminates the delicate strands that hold us all together.

ABOUT THE AUTHORKristyn Dunnion

Kristyn Dunnion grew up in Essex County, the southernmost tip of Canada, and now lives in Toronto. She is the author of six books, including Tarry This Night and The Dirt Chronicles, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her short fiction is widely published, most recently in Best Canadian Stories 2020FoglifterOrca: A Literary Journal, and Toronto 2033. Dunnion works supporting homeless adults with serious mental illness, and has been a healthy food advocate for marginalized communities in Davenport-Perth, where she resides.

 

Order your copy from Biblioasis, or from your local bookstore!