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).


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.

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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).


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.

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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).



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.


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.


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