Nikolski is a small village in the Aleutian Islands off the shore of Alaska. It is also a thematic connection for Nicolas Dickner's novel about three young francophones, unaware of the ties that bind them.

One is an unnamed young man who works in a secondhand bookshop and cherishes his only gift from his father, a broken compass that mysteriously points towards Nikolski.

Joyce, who comes from an Acadian family, is inspired by her grandfather's stories about the family history of sailors and pirates. She runs away to Montreal, where she finds a day job gutting fish and spends her nights dumpster diving for computer parts.

Noah spent the first 18 years of his life living as a nomad, roaming the roads of central Canada with his mother. He moves to Montreal to study archeology, and ends up writing a thesis on urban garbage.

Full of coincidences and paradoxes, the novel journeys across western Canada, spends time in an immigrant neighbourhood in Montreal and takes a side trip to Venezuela.

Nikolski was published in Quebec in 2005 and has since been garlanded with awards, including the Prix des libraries du Québec, the Prix littéraire des collegiens, the Prix Anne-Hebert for best first book, and France's Prix Printemps des Lecteurs -- Lavinal.

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