Books

33 Canadian books coming out in September we can't wait to read

A new month means new books!

A new month means new books! Here are some Canadian titles coming out in September we can't wait to read.

with/holding by Chantal Gibson 

with/holding is a poetry collection by Chantal Gibson. (Caitlin Press)

with/holding is a collection of genre-blurring poems that examines the representation and reproduction of Blackness across communication media and popular culture. Drawing on icons from past and present, this collection imagines Black voices moving freely across time and space.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2021

Chantal Gibson is a writer, artist and educator based in Vancouver. Her visual art has been exhibited at the ROM and galleries across Canada. Her debut poetry collection, How She Read, was a finalist for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize. Gibson was also on the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for her poem Three Body Problem

Borders by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

Borders is a graphic novel by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan. (CBC, HarperCollins)

Borders is based on a short story written by Thomas King in 1993, and was adapted as a graphic novel by illustrator Natasha Donovan. It's about a boy and his mother who try to take a road trip from Alberta to Salt Lake City. When they reach the American Canadian border, they identify as Blackfoot — causing problems and putting the pair in limbo between Canada and America. What unfolds is a powerful story about justice, identity and belonging.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

King is an influential Canadian American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. His bestselling books include Truth & Bright WaterThe Inconvenient Indian and many more. His latest, the novel Indians on Vacation, won the 2021 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. 

Donovan is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver. She has illustrated several graphic novels, including the Surviving the City series by Tasha Spillet and Brett Huson's animal series, which includes The Sockeye MotherThe Grizzly Mother and The Eagle Mother. She also illustrated the cover for The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills and her work appears in the anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold.

The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley

The Bones of Ruin is a YA novel by Sarah Raughley. (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

The Bones of Ruin is the latest fantasy YA novel by Ontario author Sarah Raughley. It's a tale set in 1880s London, featuring an immortal African tightrope walker named Iris who's caught up in a secret society's deadly gladiatorial tournament. Iris must learn more about her past, her identity and her power in order to survive her circumstances. But when she learns of a potentially world-ending threat, Iris needs to decide if learning her identity is worth the cost involved.

The Bones of Ruin is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Sarah Raughley is a fantasy novelist from Southern Ontario. Raughley's YA Effigies series, which includes Fate of FlamesSiege of Shadows and Legacy of Light, drops readers into a world where four young women are imbued with the powers of the four elements — fire, water, air and earth — and tasked with protecting the world from the evil Phantoms. 

Return by Kamal Al-Solaylee

Return is a book by Kamal Al-Solaylee. (Gary Gould, HarperCollins Canada)

Kamal Al-Solaylee yearns to return to his homeland of Yemen, now wracked by war, starvation and daily violence, to reconnect with his family. His childhood homes call to him, even though he ran away from them in his youth and found peace and prosperity in Toronto. In Return, Al-Solaylee interviews people who have returned to their homelands or long to return to them. This book is a chronicle of love and loss, a book for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to return to their roots.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Al-Solaylee is a professor and author. His other books include Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes and Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone)Intolerable was defended by Kristin Kreuk on Canada Reads 2015. Al-Solaylee holds a PhD in English and is the director of the University of British Columbia's school of journalism, writing and media. 

Satched by Megan Gail Coles

Satched is a poetry collection by Megan Gail Coles. (CBC, House of Anansi Press)

Named after a local word meaning "soaked through" or "weighed down," Satched is a poetry collection that explores intergenerational trauma, ecological grief and late-stage capitalism from the perspective of a woman of rural-remote, Northern, working class and mixed ancestry. 

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Megan Gail Coles is an author and playwright originally from Savage Cove, N.L. and currently living in Montreal, where she is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. She is also the author of the short story collection Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome and the novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club which was a finalist for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was defended by YouTuber Alayna Fender on Canada Reads 2020.

Everything Turns Away by Michelle Berry

Everything Turns Away is a novel by Michelle Berry. (Fred Thornhill, Wolsak & Wynn)

Everything Turns Away is a novel set in the aftermath of 9/11. On Sept. 11, 2001, the lives of two couples are about to be unraveled when their neighbour is murdered, their babysitter goes missing and the World Trade Centre collapses. This domestic thriller is a haunting exploration of marriages and what tears them apart, of what happens to people during shocking events, and of how everything can change in an instant.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Michelle Berry is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels. Her books include I Still Don't Even Know You, The Prisoner and the ChaplainThis Book Will Not Save Your LifeHow to Get There from Here and What We All Want. Berry lives in Peterborough, Ont. where she operates an independent bookstore, Hunter Street Books.

Letters to Amelia by Lindsay Zier-Vogel

Letters to Amelia is a novel by Lindsay Zier-Vogel. (Book*Hug Press, Philippa Croft)

Letters to Amelia is a novel about loss and grief. To deal with the grief and heartache brought by her partner of seven years unexpectedly leaving, 30-year-old library tech Grace Porter is tasked with reading newly discovered letters that Amelia Earhart wrote to her lover. Porter understands more about Earhart while putting her own life back together. When Porter becomes pregnant, she starts writing her own letters to Earhart, and ends up going on a pilgrimage of her own.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Toronto-based Lindsay Zier-Vogel is a writer, arts educator and the creator of the Love Lettering Project. She holds a MA in creative writing from the University of Toronto.

This Strange Visible Air by Sharon Butala

This Strange Visible Air is a book by Sharon Butala. (Freehand Books, Jennifer Chipperfield)

In the essay collection This Strange Visible Air, Sharon Butala reflects on the ways her life has changed as she's grown old. She tackles ageism, loneliness, friendship and companionship. She writes about dinner parties, health challenges, complicated family relationships and the pandemic. This book is an expansive look at the complexities and desires of aging and the aged, a stark contrast to the stereotyped and simplistic portrayals of the elderly in our culture. 

When you can read it: Sept. 13, 2021

Butala is a Saskatchewan-based author of 19 novels and nonfiction books, including The Perfection of the MorningWhere I Live NowZara's Dead, Fever and Wild Rose. She is a three-time Governor General's Literary Award nominee and received the Marian Engel Award in 1998. She became an officer of the Order of Canada in 2002.

August into Winter by Guy Vanderhaeghe

August into Winter is a novel by Guy Vanderhaeghe. (McClelland & Stewart)

The first novel in nearly a decade, Guy Vanderhaeghe is back with August into Winter, an epic story of a small prairie town in 1939, when the world is on the brink of war. When Constable Hotchkiss confronts spoiled, narcissistic manchild Ernie Sickert about a string of disturbing pranks, Sickert commits an act of unspeakable violence, which starts a course of events that forever changes the lives of anyone in his wake. 

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Vanderhaeghe has penned five novels and four short story collections. His work includes Man DescendingA Good ManThe Englishman's Boy and Daddy Lenin and Other Stories. He has received numerous awards including the Governor General's Literary Awards, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship, The Writers' Trust Timothy Findley Award and the Order of Canada.

Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew

(Penguin Teen, Rachael King)

A shy Indigenous teen girl named Bugz finds comfort and belonging through multiplayer video games and virtual worlds in this YA novel. When a teen boy named Feng moves to the rez where Bugz lives, the two discover they have a lot in common, both in real life and online. Their virtual adventures draw them closer — but events in the real world, including family challenges and community trauma, threaten to harm the friendship the two have built. 

Walking in Two Worlds is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Wab Kinew is the leader of Manitoba's New Democratic Party. Prior to his career in politics, he was a hip-hop musician, broadcaster and host of the 2015 Canada Reads. As a panellist on CBC's battle of the books, Kinew won the 2014 edition for his defence of Joseph Boyden's The Orenda.

Kinew is the author of two books: The Reason You Walka memoir about mending his relationship with his father before his death, and Go Show the Worlda children's picture book about Indigenous heroes throughout history. Go Show the World was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books. Kinew lives in Winnipeg.

Umbilical Cord by Hasan Namir 

Umbilical Cord is a poetry collection by Hasan Namir. (Tarn Khare, Book*Hug Press)

Umbilical Cord is a joyful collection about parenting, fatherhood and hope. Hasan Namir's free-verse poems document the journey that he and his husband took to have a child. 

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Namir is an Iraqi Canadian author who currently lives in Vancouver. His other books include God in Pink, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best gay fiction, and War/Torn, which was a 2020 Stonewall Book Awards winner. 

Yume by Sifton Tracey Anipare

Yume is a novel by Sifton Tracey Anipare. (Dundurn Press)

In Yume, Cybelle is an English teacher in a small city in Japan, who isn't sure where she belongs anymore. Her contract is up for renewal and her mother is begging her to come back to Canada. Even though she faces fear and ostracism daily and her life in general starts to get weird, she loves her job and does her best. Later, when she gets caught up in the clash of yokai (strange apparitions) and humans, she has to figure out what is real and what she wants before her life spirals out of control.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Sifton Tracey Anipare is a Ghanaian Canadian writer who has lived and taught in Japan for four years. Yume is her first novel.

What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J. A. Chancy

What Storm, What Thunder is a novel by Myriam J. A. Chancy. (HarperCollins Canada)

As markets and businesses begin to close for the evening at the end of a long, sweltering day, a huge earthquake shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. What Storm, What Thunder follows 10 survivors as they grapple with the permanent life-altering effects of the earthquake and shows the tenacity of the human spirit.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Myriam J. A. Chancy is the Canadian Haitian author of four novels and four books of literary criticism. Her novel, The Loneliness of Angels, won the Guyana Prize for Literature Best Caribbean Fiction Award in 2011 and was shortlisted for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize in Carribean Literature for fiction.

Denial by Beverley McLachlin

Denial is a thriller by Beverley McLachlin. (Jean-Marc Carisse, Simon & Schuster)

Denial is a novel about Jilly Truitt, one of the top criminal defence lawyers in the city. When Joseph Quentin asks her to defend his wife, who has been charged with murdering her own mother in what the media calls a mercy killing, Truitt wants to say no, but she meets with Vera Quentin and reluctantly agrees to take on her case. Vera is adamant she's innocent, and Truitt believes she's telling the truth. As the trial nears, Truitt scrambles to find a crack in the case and stumbles across a dark truth hanging over the Quentin family.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Beverley McLachlin was the Chief Justice of Canada from 2000 to 2017. She was the first woman to hold that position and was the longest-serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. Her memoir, Truth Be Told, won the Writers' Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize and the Ottawa Book Award for Nonfiction. Her debut fictional thriller, Full Disclosure, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel Award. In 2018, McLachlin became a companion of the Order of Canada.

Out of Mind by David Bergen

Out of Mind is a novel by David Bergen. (Thies Bogner, Goose Lane Editions)

Out of Mind is a novel about Lucille Black, a mother, grandmother, lover, psychiatrist and analyst of self. While she's fantastic at probing the lives of others, her own life has become untethered. Her ex-husband betrays her by publishing a memoir about the aftermath of their son's death in Afghanistan, then she travels to Thailand to try and free her daughter from the clutches of a cult leader. She's also invited to attend the wedding of a man whom she rejected a year earlier. While Black circles the globe, she's on a quest to reform her identity.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

David Bergen is the author of 10 novels and two collections of stories. His work includes The Time in Between, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, The Matter with Morris and The Age of Hope, which was championed by Ron MacLean on Canada Reads 2013. He currently lives in Winnipeg.

Pluck by Donna Morrissey

Pluck is a book by Donna Morrissey. (Nicola Davison, Viking)

In the memoir Pluck, writer Donna Morrissey recounts her life from being a grocery clerk to oil fields, from marriage and divorce to working in a fish-processing plant to support herself and her two young children. She layers her account of her life with stories of people who came before her, such as iron-willed mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, teachers and mentors. Pluck shows that even when you're unravelling, you can spin the yarns that will save you.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Morrissey is the author of six novels, including Kit's Law, The Fortunate BrotherThe Deception of Livvy Higgs and Sylvanus Now. She has also written the children's book Cross Katie Kross, which was illustrated by her daughter, Brigitte Morrissey. Born and raised in Newfoundland, Morissey now lives in Halifax.

Ghost Geographies by Tamas Dobozy

Ghost Geographies is a short story collection by Tamas Dobozy. (New Star Books)

Ghost Geographies is the latest short story collection from Writers' Trust Fiction Prize winner Tamas Dobozy. After fleeing communist Budapest in a hot air balloon, a wrestler tries to reinvent himself in Canada. Chasing the dream of a better world, a Belgian bureaucrat 'defects' to communist Hungary. A provocateur filmmaker drinks and blasts his way to a confrontation with fascism. A terrible philosopher works on his masterpiece. In Ghost Geographies, these are some of the characters who are affected by the promise and failure of utopia.

When you can read it: Sept. 16, 2021

Dobozy is the author of four collections of short fiction and novellas. Siege 13 won the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize (now the Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Prize for Fiction) and was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. He lives in Kitchener, Ont.

Richard Wagamese Selected, edited by Drew Hayden Taylor

Richard Wagamese Selected is a collection of essays by Richard Wagamese. (Yyvette Lehman, Douglas & McIntyre)

Richard Wagamese Selected is a collection of nonfiction works by Richard Wagamese, one of Canada's most celebrated Indigenous authors and storytellers. The book, edited and curated by Drew Hayden Taylor, brings together more of his short writings, many for the first time in print. 

When you can read it: Sept.18, 2021

Wagamese, an Ojibwe author from the Wabaseemoong First Nation, was one of Canada's most prominent writers. His novels included Medicine Walk and Indian Horse. His memoirs include One Native Life and One Story, One Song. He died in March 2017.

Taylor is an Ojibwe playwright, author and journalist from Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario. He has worked on over 17 documentaries examining Indigenous experiences. His books include Motorcycle and Sweetgrass and Take Us to Your Chief.

The Mystery of Right and Wrong by Wayne Johnston

The Mystery of Right and Wrong is a novel by Wayne Johnston. (Knopf Canada, Nancy Williams)

The Mystery of Right and Wrong is a novel about Newfoundlander Wade Jackson, an aspiring writer. He meets the fascinating South African-born Rachel van Hout at the university library. Jackson later discovers that Rachel is one of four van Hout daughters, each a wounded soul in their own way. Johnston reveals haunting family secrets he's kept for over 30 years in this novel that grapples with sexual abuse, male violence and madness.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Wayne Johnston is a writer from Newfoundland. His novels include The Divine RyansA World ElsewhereThe Custodian of ParadiseThe Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. His 1999 memoir Baltimore's Mansion won him the RBC Taylor Prize. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a 2003 Canada Reads finalist, when it was defended by now prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Disorientation by Ian Williams

Disorientation is a book by Ian Williams. (Random House Canada, Justin Morris)

In Disorientation, Ian Williams captures the impact of racial encounters on racialized people, especially when one's minding their own business. Sometimes, the consequences are only irritating, but sometimes they are deadly. Driven by the police killings and street protests of 2020, Williams realized he could offer a Canadian perspective on race. He explores things such as, the unmistakable moment when a child realizes they're Black, the ten characteristics of institutional whiteness, how friendship helps protect against being a target of racism and blame culture.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Williams is a poet, novelist and professor from Brampton, Ont., who is currently teaching at the University of Toronto. His debut novel Reproduction won the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is also the author of the poetry collection Personals, which was a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

The Book of Form and Emptiness is a novel by Ruth Ozeki. (Viking, Danielle Tait)

The Book of Form and Emptiness is about a young boy dealing with the aftermath of his father's death. A year after his musician father dies, 13-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices in the random household objects around him. Some are pleasant, while others are angry and full of pain. When his mother starts hoarding things, the voices grow more intense. To keep the voices from following him everywhere, he seeks refuge in a public library, where objects are well-behaved. Oh meets mesmerizing new faces, and he discovers his own book, who narrates his life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the author of My Year of MeatsAll Over Creation and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Ozeki teaches creative writing at Smith College.

A Dream of a Woman by Casey Plett

A Dream of a Woman is a short story collection by Casey Plett. (Sy Billamb, Arsenal Pulp Press)

A Dream of a Woman is a collection of short stories revolving around transgender women who are looking for stable, adult lives. Taking place in prairie high-rises, New York warehouses, freezing Canadian winters and drizzly Oregon days, these takes explore partnership, sex, addiction, romance, groundedness and love.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Casey Plett is a Windsor-based writer who was born in Manitoba and has lived in Oregon and New York. Her novel Little Fish won the Lambda Literary Award, Amazon First Novel Award and the Firecracker Award for Fiction. Her first collection of short stories, A Safe Girl to Love, was published in 2014.

Unreconciled by Jesse Wente

Unreconciled is a work of nonfiction by Jesse Wente. (Red Works/CBC Media Centre, Allen Lane)

Unreconciled is a memoir from Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster and arts leader Jesse Wente. It weaves together Wente's personal story with a larger exploration of society and culture and examine sports, art, popular culture and more. He explores his family's history, including his grandmother's experience in residential school, and shares his own frequent incidents of racial profiling by police and argues that the notion of reconciliation between First Nations and Canada is not a realistic path forward.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Wente is an Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster and arts leader. He's best known for the more than two decades he's spent as a columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning. He has also worked at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2018, he was named the first executive director of the Indigenous Screen Office and in 2020, he was appointed chair of the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Marriage of Rose Camilleri by Robert Hough

The Marriage of Rose Camilleri is a novel by Robert Hough. (Douglas & McIntyre)

The Marriage of Rose Camilleri is a novel about a turbulent marriage. When they met, Rose Camilleri and Scotty Larkin never expected to spend a lifetime together, navigating a sometimes turbulent marriage and figuring out the process of raising a family. While they struggle, they find their own kind of happiness along the way.

When you can read it: Sept. 25, 2021

Robert Hough is the author of several novels, including The Final Confession of Mabel StarkDr. Brinkley's TowerThe StowawayThe Culprits and The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan. He has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best book, the Trillium Book Award, the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the Arthur Ellis Award. Hough lives in Toronto.

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour by Dawn Dumont

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is a novel by Dawn Dumont. (Thistledown Press, Freehand Books)

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is about the trials and tribulations of a touring dance group. Right before a 15-day tour through Europe, all the performers in The Prairie Chicken dance troupe come down with the flu. So, John Greyeyes, a retired cowboy who hasn't danced in 15 years, is thrust into leading a hastily assembled group of replacement dancers. As the gaggle of amateur dancers make its way from one stop to another, nothing goes as planned and the tour becomes a string of madcap adventures. 

When you can read it: Sept. 27, 2021

Dawn Dumont is a Plains Cree writer, comedian and actor who lives in Saskatoon. She is the author of Rose's RunGlass Beads, and Nobody Cries at Bingo, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Alberta Readers Choice Awards, Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Award and First Nation Communities READ Award.

Spílexm by Nicola I. Campbell

Spílexm is a book by Nicola I. Campbell. (Highwater Press)

Spílexm is a memoir that tells the story of one Indigenous woman's journey to overcoming adversity and colonial trauma to find strength and resilience through creative works and traditional perspectives of healing, transformation and resurgence. Nicola I. Campbell weaves poetry and prose into what it means to be an intergenerational survivor of residential schools. 

When you can read it: Sept. 27, 2021

Campbell is the Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis author of Shi-shi-etkoShin-chi's CanoeGrandpa's Girls and Stand Like a CedarShin-chi's Canoe won the 2009 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and the 2008 Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — illustration.

Em by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman

Em is a novel by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman. (Random House Canada, Carl Lessard)

In the midst of a war, a young boy abandoned by a long-gone American soldier and living on the streets finds a baby abandoned in Saigon. The novel takes inspiration from historical events to sift through the layers of pain and trauma — revealing the invincibility of the human spirit.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Born in Saigon, Kim Thúy left Vietnam in a boat at 10 years old and settled with her family in Quebec. Her other novels include ViMan. and RuRu won the Governor General's Literary Award for French-language fiction and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2002. It also won Canada Reads 2015, when it was championed by Cameron Bailey. Her books have been translated into 29 languages and are available in 40 countries and territories.

Sheila Fischman is the translator of over 150 works of Quebec contemporary novels from French to English. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec.

The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed

The Annual Migration of Clouds is a novel by Premee Mohamed. (ECW Press)

In The Annual Migration of Clouds, climate disasters have caused food shortages, ended industry and left little behind in North America. There's also Cad, a mysterious mind altering fungi that invades the bodies of the remaining citizens. Reid, a young woman carrying the parasite, is offered the chance to move to one of the last remaining pre-disaster societies, but she can't abandon her mother and her community. How can she get other people to trust her when she can't even trust her own mind?

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Premee Mohamed is a scientist and speculative fiction writer based in Edmonton. She's the author of novels A Broken Darkness and Beneath the Rising, and the novellas And What Can We Offer You Tonight and These Lifeless Things.

Ring by André Alexis

Ring is a novel by André Alexis. (Coach House Books)

Ring completes the quincunx of Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning writer André Alexis. When Helen Odhiambo Lloyd sensed that her daughter Gwenhwfar is in love, Helen gives her a ring that has been passed down through endless generations. The ring lets the bearer change three things about her beloved. It's a blessing, but may also be a curse. 

The other titles in the quincunx are PastoralThe Hidden KeysFifteen Dogs and Days by Moonlight. The novels in the quincunx each explore one of faith, place, love, power and hatred. Ring focuses on love.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His novel Fifteen Dogs received the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and won Canada Reads 2017, when it was defended by Humble the Poet. His other books include ChildhoodPastoralAsylumThe Hidden Keys and Days by Moonlight.

Manikanetish by Naomi Fontaine

Manikanetish is a book by Naomi Fontaine. (Kizzy E. Steve, House of Anansi Press)

In Manikanetish, a young Innu woman, Yammie, returns to her home in the Uashat nation on Quebec's North Shore after 15 years of exile. She plans to teach language and drama at the community's school, but finds a community stalked by despair. When she accepts a position directing the school play, she sees an opportunity for her students to take charge of themselves. 

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Naomi Fontaine is a member of the Innu Nation of Uashat. Her debut novel, Kuessipan, was made into a film that was featured at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The French language edition of Manikanetish was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Awards and Radio Canada's Combat des livres 2019.

The Strangers by Katherena Vermette

The Strangers is a novel by Katherena Vermette. (Vanda Fleury, Hamish Hamilton)

In The Strangers, readers are brought into the dynamic world of the Stranger family, the shared pain of their past and the light that shines from the horizon. After spending time in foster homes, Cedar goes to live with her estranged father. Being separated from her mother, Elsie, and her sister, Phoenix, is painful, but she's hoping for a new chapter in life. The three women diverge, reconnect, and fight to survive in a system that expects them to fail.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Katherena Vermette is a Red River Métis writer from Winnipeg. Her debut poetry collection, North End Love Songs, won the 2013 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. Her first novel, The Break, won the Amazon First Novel Award, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Prize and McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Vermette's other works include the poetry book river woman and the graphic novel series A Girl Called Echo.

Out of the Sun by Esi Edugyan

Acclaimed Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan will deliver this year's Massey Lectures. (Tamara Poppitt, Alysia Shewchuk/House of Anansi Press)

In Out of the Sun, the 2021 Massey Lectures, Esi Edugyan delivers an analysis on the relationship between race and art. She poses questions such as what happens when we begin to consider stories at the margins and grant them centrality? How does doing that complicate our understanding of who we are? Through the lens of visual art, literature, film and the author's lived experience, this book examines the depiction of Black histories in art, offering new perspectives to challenge the accepted narrative.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Edugyan is a writer living in Victoria. Her other books include Half-Blood BluesDreaming of Elsewhere, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Washington Black. She won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues, and again in 2018 for Washington Black.

Weeding by Geneviève Lebleu 

Weeding is a comic by Geneviève Lebleu. (Conundrum Press)

Weeding is a satirical portrayal of feminine archetypes in the social landscape of the 1960s. Martha hosts a group of middle-aged women at her suburban home on an autumn afternoon. The day takes a sudden turn when Elisabeth, an estranged friend, turns up unexpectedly — and she isn't the only unwanted guest at the tea party. 

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Geneviève Lebleu is a multidisciplinary artist from Québec City and is currently based in Montreal. Her work was featured in various events, exhibitions and festivals in Montreal and abroad. She also self-publishes her comics. Weeding is her first graphic novel.

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