Canadian

We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night

This novel by Joel Thomas Hynes, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, is the story of one man's attempt to recuperate from a life of petty crime.

Joel Thomas Hynes

Scrappy tough guy and three-time loser Johnny Keough is going a little stir-crazy awaiting trial for an alleged assault charge involving his girlfriend, Madonna, and a teapot. Facing three to five years in a maximum-security prison, Johnny knows this might just be the end of the road. But when Madonna doesn't show up for court due to a fatal accident, shell-shocked Johnny seizes his unexpected "clean slate" as a sign from above and embarks on an epic hitchhiking journey across Canada to deliver her ashes to a fabled beach on the outskirts of Vancouver.

Johnny's wanderings see him propelled in and out of the driver's seat of stolen cars, knocking heads with cagey cops, nearly decapitated by a moose, coming face-to-face with his incarcerated biological father in a Kingston jail, and finding surprising connections with strangers on the lonely road west. But most of all, he revisits the choices and mistakes of his past — his relationships with his adoptive father and a cousin who meant the world to him, and his first real chance at love with the woman who is now lost to him. (From HarperCollins Canada)

Author Interviews | Read an excerpt

Author interviews

Joel Thomas Hynes shares how he tapped into the dark past of Newfoundland in his new novel 'We'll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night.' 19:23
The author of Say Nothing, Saw Wood on his (very brief) stint as a security guard. 2:02

From the book

What's going on Johnny?

Come on, whatcha doing? How are ya? Poor Johnny. Touchy Johnny. In this mindset. How you are? How's our John-John doing? How's he makin out, comin along, doing for himself? How's he keepin?


From We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes ©2017. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Explore the Governor General's Literary Award winners: