Books of the Year

Barbara Gowdy's favourite book of 2017 was The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep by Steven Heighton

In December, Canadian authors are sharing their favourite books of the year with CBC Books.
Barbara Gowdy chose Steven Heighton's The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep as her favourite book of 2017. (Ruth Kaplan/Hamish Hamilton)

Happy holidays! CBC Books asked authors to share their favourite Canadian books of 2017. We will be publishing these recommendations throughout December.

Barbara Gowdy chose The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep by Steven Heighton.

"I have chosen Steven Heighton's superb novel, The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep. Set in Varosha, a former Cyprian resort town abandoned after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and cordoned off ever since, The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep imagines a group of homeless exiles making a secret life for themselves among the ruins and fertile overgrowth of this real ghost world. Such a timely premise so fully captured is novel enough, but there is a whole lot more here: luscious descriptions of landscape and meals; primary characters so dimensional you can't believe they don't actually exist; and —ah, fiction! — an abundance of those lovely, intimate revelations that separates merely good storytelling from the very best of it."

Barbara Gowdy is the author of eight critically acclaimed books including The White Bone, Helpless and most recently Little Sister.

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