Books

58 Canadian works of fiction coming out in spring 2021

Here are the Canadian novels and short story collections we are excited to read in the first half of 2021!

Here are the Canadian novels and short story collections we are excited to read in the first half of 2021!

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

Our Darkest Night is a novel by Jennifer Robson. (Natalie Brown/Tangerine Photo, HarperCollins Canada)

Our Darkest Night is a novel about a young Jewish woman who posed as a Christian farmer's wife during the Second World War in order to survive the Holocaust. Antonina leaves behind her family to live with Nico, a young man who was studying to become a priest but had to return home to run his family farm. But Antonina, who grew up in the city, struggles to adapt to farm life. And when their neighbours become suspicious, they are not sure their lie will be enough to keep Antonina safe.

When you can read it: Jan. 5, 2021

Jennifer Robson is a historical fiction writer from Toronto. Her other books include Goodnight From London, Moonlight Over Paris, After the War is Over, Somewhere in France, Fall of Poppies and The Gown.

Canadian author Jennifer Robson not only writes historical fiction set in the Second World War, she also reads a lot of books about the two world wars too. She shares some of her favourites, including her own bestseller Our Darkest Night. 12:05

The Crash Palace by Andrew Wedderburn

The Crash Palace is a book by Andrew Wedderburn. (Coach House Books, Malcolm Overend)

The Crash Palace is about a woman named Audrey, who used to work in the oil fields and attend parties at a remote lodge in the wilderness known as the Crash Palace. Audrey has long left that life behind her, and now has a daughter. But one night, she is compelled to return to the now-abandoned Crash Palace — where she must also reckon with her past.

When you can read it: Jan. 12, 2021

Andrew Wedderburn is a writer from Alberta. He is also the author of The Milk Chicken Bomb, which was a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. He is also a musician, and writes and performs with the groups Hot Little Rocket and Night Committee.

Gutter Child by Jael Richardson

Gutter Child is a novel by Jael Richardson. (HarperAvenue, Simon Remark)

Gutter Child is about a young girl growing up in a world divided: the Mainland, where people of privilege live, and the Gutter, a policed state where the most vulnerable reside. A social experiment results in 100 babies born in the Gutter to be raised in the Mainland. One of those babies is Elimina Dubois. But when Elimina's Mainland mother dies, she is sent to an academy with rules and a way of life Elimina doesn't understand.

When you can read it: Jan. 26, 2021

Jael Richardson is the founder and the artistic director of the Festival for Literary Diversity (FOLD) and the books columnist for q on CBC Radio. She is also the author of the nonfiction book The Stone Thrower, which was also adapted into a picture book of the same name. Gutter Child is her first work of fiction.

If you've been taking time to reflect on issues around race, justice and equality, you might be looking for something to read. Books shape our lives, they can help us feel less alone or understand difficult events in a broader context. Our books columnist, Jael Richardson, joined Tom Power to share some books that have been important in her own personal journey to understand what it means to be black in Canada. 8:32

Kill the Mall by Pasha Malla

Kill the Mall is a novel by Pasha Malla. (Pasha Malla, Knopf Canada)

After writing a letter in praise of "malls," the narrator of Kill the Mall is invited to take up a residency in one. His mission: to occupy the shopping mall for several weeks, all the while engaging the public as well as creating progress reports. As mysterious events begin to take place, it is up to him to discover the mall's hidden areas. 

When you can read it: Feb. 2, 2021

Pasha Malla's debut short story collection, The Withdrawal Method, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first novel, People Park, was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. 

Pasha Malla gives the bromance a satirical makeover,and in the process, raises questions about the stories that shape our understanding of the world and our place in it in his latest book "Fugue States.” 13:59

A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

A History of What Comes Next is a novel by Sylvain Neuvel. (Tor)

A History of What Comes Next  is both science fiction and satire. It is the story of Mia, a young woman whose family has worked for 99 generations to send humans into space. And now it's up to her to get German aerospace engineer Wernher Von Braun to reject the Nazi Party and come to America to join its space exploration program. But Mia is not the only person trying to change the course of history — and it's a race to see who gets it done.

When you can read it: Feb. 2 2021

Sylvain Neuvel is a writer, linguist and translator from Montreal. He is also the author of the novels Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, Only Human and The Test.

A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong

A Stranger in Town is a novel by Kelley Armstrong. (St. Martin's Press)

A Stranger in Town is the latest mystery in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series. Rockton is a town in Yukon where people go to disappear. Casey Butler is the local detective. In A Stranger in Town, Casey notices the town is getting smaller, and fewer people are moving there. Her boyfriend thinks it's just the natural ebb and flow of things, but Casey isn't so sure. When a local woman is attacked in the wilderness, Casey knows she needs to figure out what is happening — before it's too late.

When you can read it: Feb. 9, 2021

Armstrong is the author of several young adult books. She's written more than 40 books, ranging from horror, in her hit Women of Otherworld series, to a New York Times bestselling young adult novel. Her standalone novels include Aftermath and Missing, but she is best known for her Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series and her Cainsville and Otherworld series.

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

A Town Called Solace is a novel by Mary Lawson. (Knopf Canada, Nathaniel Mobbs)

A Town Called Solace is a novel told from three different perspectives: Clara, a young woman who sits at her window, waiting for her missing sister to return home, Liam, Clara's new neighbour who Clara watches with suspicion, and Mrs. Orchard, the old woman who owns the house Liam is staying in. As their stories unfold, so does the mystery of what happened to Clara's sister and how Mrs. Orchard and Liam are connected.

When you can read it: Feb. 16, 2021

Mary Lawson is an acclaimed novelist who grew up in Ontario and now lives in the U.K. Her other novels include Crow Lake, The Other Side of the Bridge and Road Ends. Crow Lake won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Soulstar by C. L. Polk

Soulstar is a novel by C. L. Polk. (Tor, Mike Tan)

Soulstar is the third and final book in C.L. Polk's Kingston Cycle fantasy series, after Witchmark and Stormsong. Robin Thorpe has led a quiet life in Riverside, keeping her magical powers a secret so she can stay safe. But when freed witches come to town, wanting to rejoin the kingdom, Robin knows it's time to use her powers again — but will she have to sacrifice her personal happiness in the process?

When you can read it: Feb. 16, 2021

Polk is a fantasy writer from Calgary. Her other books include Witchmark, Stormsong and The Midnight Bargain. Witchmark, her debut novel, won the 2019 World Fantasy Award for best novel. It was also nominated for a Nebula Award, Locus Award, Aurora Award and a Lambda Literary Award. The Midnight Bargain will be defended by Olympian and broadcaster Rosey Edeh on Canada Reads 2021.

C.L. Polk on her Canada Reads 2021 contender, The Midnight Bargain. 14:06

The Centaur's Wife by Amanda Leduc

The Centaur’s Wife is a novel by Amanda Leduc. (Random House Canada, Trevor Cole)

The Centaur's Wife is a novel that weaves together fairy tales with a story of an apocalypse. The world has nearly ended: meteors have destroyed the city Heather and her family live in, and humanity is facing extinction. There are only a handful of survivors, including Heather, her husband and their twin daughters. The mountain that looms over the city becomes the survivors' focus, as it remains lush and green and full of life. Heather is one of the few people who knows how to get there — and what creatures they will encounter.

When you can read it: Feb. 16, 2021

Amanda Leduc is the communications and development coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) in Brampton, Ont. She is also the author of the novel The Miracles of Ordinary Men and the nonfiction book Disfigured. She was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize.

Essayist and fiction writer Amanda Leduc on exploring the portrayal of disability in fairy tales in her book Disfigured. 15:11

Instructor by Beth Follett

Instructor is a book by Beth Follett. (Breakwater Books)

In Instructor, Ydessa Bloom rents a cottage on the lake where her husband recently died in a plane crash. During her three months there, she meets three people who would go on to change her life forever: the cottage's owner, a young boy and a yoga teacher. Twenty-five years later, the young boy seeks out Ydessa — and the two once again have an encounter that forever changes the course of their lives.

When you can read it: March 1, 2021

Beth Follett is a novelist and poet from Newfoundland. She was the founder of the now defunct publisher Pedlar Press. She is also the author of the novel Tell It Slant and her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in publications such as Brick and Best Canadian Poetry.

Book of Wings by Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Book of Wings is a novel by Tawhida Tanya Evanson. (Véhicule Press, Temmuz Arsiray)

Book of Wings is a novel that follows an artist on a global journey with her lover, from Canada to the Caribbean to Paris and beyond. Along the way, their relationship falls apart, but the artist goes on a personal and spiritual journey as she transverses the globe.

When you can read it: March 1, 2021

Tawhida Tanya Evanson is an Antiguan Québecois writer, artist and performer who currently lives in Montreal. She is also the author of the poetry collections Nouveau Griot and Bothism. Book of Wings is her first work of fiction. 

Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin

Speak, Silence is a novel by Kim Echlin. (Hamish Hamilton, Michelle Quance)

Speak, Silence follows a journalist named Gota who travels to Sarajevo to cover a film festival alongside the fallout of the Bosnian war. She also has a personal mission: to connect her former lover, Kosmos. Once there, Gota encounters a country and a man changed beyond recognition. But once she forms a bond with Komsos' new lover, Edina, Gota has a new mission: to share the stories of women who experienced sexual violence during the war.

When you can read it: March 2, 2021

Kim Echlin is a writer who lives in Toronto. Her other novels include Elephant Winter, Dagmar's Daughter, The Disappeared and Under the Visible Life. The Disappeared was shortlisted for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Accidentally Engaged is a novel by Farah Heron. (farahheron.com, Forever)

Accidentally Engaged is the second romantic comedy from Farah Heron. In Accidentally Engaged, Reena Manji refuses to be attracted to the man her parents have set her up with — the charming and attractive Nadim. But when Reena gets the opportunity to enter a cooking competition, she will do anything to win — even pretend to be engaged to Nadim.

When you can read it: March 2, 2021

Heron is a writer from Toronto. She is also the author of the romantic comedy The Chai Factor. Her first YA novel, Tahira in Bloom, will also be published in 2021.

Farah Heron on what inspired her romantic comedy The Chai Factor and how diversity has changed the romance genre. 2:28

Satellite Love by Genki Ferguson

Satellite Love is a novel by Genki Ferguson. (McClelland & Stewart, genkiferguson.com)

The novel Satellite Love is set in a city in Japan in 1999. Anna is a lonely teenager who turns to stargazing for comfort and escape. But when the Low Earth Orbit satellite (aka LEO) returns Anna's gaze and comes down to earth as Leo, what follows is an unconventional story about love, loneliness and human connection.

When you can read it: March 2, 2021

Genki Ferguson is a writer from Calgary, and the son of acclaimed writer Will Ferguson. Satellite Love is his first book.

Return of the Trickster by Eden Robinson

Return of the Trickster is a novel by Eden Robinson. (Knopf Canada, Red Works Photography)

Return of the Trickster is the third book in celebrated writer Eden Robinson's Trickster trilogy, after Son of a Trickster and Trickster Drift. In Return of the Trickster, Jared is coming to terms with his trickster powers — and with the havoc they create for him and everyone he loves. His mom, Maggie, is coming to terms with them as well. But when his power-hungry Aunt Georgina comes to town, it's the beginning of a magical war — with Jared in the middle of it all.

When you can read it: March 2, 2021

Robinson is an award-winning writer from Kitamaat, B.C. She is also the author of the novels Monkey Beach, Son of a Trickster and Trickster Drift. Return of the Trickster completes the Trickster trilogy. Son of a Trickster was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was championed on Canada Reads 2020 by actor Kaniehtiio Horn.

Haisla and Heilsuk author Eden Robinson talks about writing her second novel in a trilogy, Trickster Drift, and what she had to overcome to get here. 32:51

Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted by Gary Barwin

Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted is a novel by Gary Barwin. (Random House Canada, George Qua-Enoo)

Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted is an inventive novel about a Jewish man named Motl. The Second World War has just begun in Europe, and Motl's quiet life in a small village is completely upended. Friends and neighbours are being killed, and Motl dreams of having enough strength and bravery to go on a trek across Europe to stop the Nazis. Motl believes a Jew's greatest revenge against Hitler would be to procreate — which isn't easy since Motl lost that ability during the First World War. So Motl ends up on a quest, one stranger than he ever dreamed.

When you can read it: March 9, 2021

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, visual and multidisciplinary artist and the author of several books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His first novel, 2016's Yiddish for Pirates, won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour as well as a Canadian Jewish Literary Award. It was also a finalist for both the Governor General's Award for fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Hamilton, Ont.

Leacock Medal Winner Gary Barwin says the time alone with our thoughts is like our brains are a big Rolodex: you find things you like and things you'd rather forget. It's a reminder how complicated we are as individuals. 51:40

The Speed of Mercy by Christy Ann Conlin

The Speed of Mercy is a novel by Christy Ann Conlin. (House of Anansi Press, Kate Inglis)

The Speed of Mercy is a novel that explores what is misunderstood about older women and others who are marginalized by mainstream society. It also looks at what happens when we forget our history, suppress our memories — and what happens when long-held secrets finally come to light.

When you can read it: March 23, 2021

Christy Ann Conlin is a writer who lives in Nova Scotia. Her first novel, Heave, was shortlisted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Her short story collection, Watermark, was nominated for the 2020 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award. Her short fiction has been longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the American Short Fiction prize.

Christy Ann Conlin talks to Shelagh Rogers on location in Nova Scotia about her book of short stories, Watermark. 18:36

The Relatives by Camilla Gibb

The Relatives is a novel by Camilla Gibb. (Doubleday Canada, George Whiteside)

The Relatives is a novel that explores what it means to make — and be — a family. Lila is working on becoming a mother, alone, while Tess and Emily are figuring out what happens to their embryos now that their relationship is ending. The man who donated the sperm to all three of them is being held captive in Somalia, his life hanging in the balance. As he faces the potential end of his life, what will happen to the lives he helped create, which haven't quite started yet?

When you can read it: March 23, 2021

Camilla Gibb is a writer who lives in Toronto. Her other books include the novels Mouthing the Words, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement and the memoir This is Happy. Sweetness in the Belly won the 2006 Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Tainna: The Unseen Ones by Norma Dunning

Tainna: The Unseen Ones is a short story collection by Norma Dunning. (Emily Weisz Studios, Douglas & McIntyre)

Tainna: The Unseen Ones is a collection of six stories from Inuk writer Norma Dunning. Each of the stories focuses on a contemporary Inuk character, and explores themes such as homelessness, spirituality, death, displacement, loneliness, alienation and community connection.

When you can read it: March 27, 2021

Dunning is an Inuk writer who currently lives in Edmonton. She is also the author of the short story collection Annie Muktuk and Other Stories and the poetry collection Eskimo Pie: A Poetics of Inuit Identity. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories won the 2018 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which recognizes the best debut short story collection of the year.

The Woman in Valencia by Annie Perreault, translated by Ann Marie Boulanger

The Woman in Valencia is a novel by Annie Perreault (pictured), translated by Ann Marie Boulanger. (QC Fiction, Christian Gates St-Pierre)

In The Woman in Valencia, a woman named Claire witnesses a traumatic event that changes the course of her life, and sends her unravelling. It tells the story of three different women and their lives spanning three decades — and how this single event tied them together and changed everything.

When you can read it: April 1, 2021

Annie Perreault is a writer from Quebec. The Woman in Valencia is her first novel. The French edition was shortlisted for the Rendez-vous du premier roman and was a finalist for the Prix Ringuet. She won the 2000 Grand Prix littéraire Radio-Canada for best short story.

Ann Marie Boulanger is a translator from Quebec. The Woman in Valencia is her first literary translation.

Letters from Johnny by Wayne Ng

Letters from Johnny is a novel by Wayne Ng. (Guernica Editions)

Letters from Johnny is the story of 11-year-old Johnny Wong, who is living in Toronto in the 1970s on the brink of the FLQ crisis. Johnny lives with his mother, a Chinese immigrant, and develops a fatherly relationship with a local draft dodger. But when the children's services come, questioning Johnny's mother, and a neighbour is found murdered, Johnny begins to think that his little family is threatened — and it's up to him to protect them.

When you can read it: April 1, 2021

Wayne Ng is a novelist, travel writer and social worker from Toronto, who now lives in Ottawa. He is also the author of the novel Finding the Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu.

The Family Way by Christopher DiRaddo

The Family Way is a novel by Christopher DiRaddo. (Vincent Fortier, Vehicule Press)

In The Family Way, Paul, a gay man about to turn 40, is asked by his friends, the lesbian couple Wendy and Eve, to father their child. Over the course of 18 months, Paul must confront his own relationship with his father, his notion of family and grapple with what fatherhood will mean for his own relationship.

When you can read it: April 1, 2021

Christopher DiRaddo is a novelist and producer from Montreal. He is a former CBC Literary Prizes coordinator and is the current president of the Quebec Writers' Federation. He is also the author of the novel The Geography of Pluto.

Debut author Chris DiRaddo tackles some difficult topics in his first novel: coming out of the closet to his mother and getting over a first love. "The Geography of Pluto" is also a closer look at the layout and life in Montreal's gay village. 9:00

The Last Exiles by Ann Shin

The Last Exiles is a novel by Ann Shin. (HarperCollins Canada, Katia Taylor)

The Last Exiles is a novel set in North Korea. It's about two young lovers, Jin and Suja. They meet in university, but their class differences become apparent when they return home — and may keep them apart. When Jin sees how much his family is struggling, he decides to escape. When Suja discovers this, she sets after him, and what unfolds is a dangerous and precarious journey for them both.

When you can read it: April 6, 2021

Ann Shin is a writer and filmmaker from Toronto. Her documentary films include My Enemy, My Brother and The Defector: Escape from North Korea. My Enemy, My Brother was nominated for an Academy Award in 2014. She has directed programs for several television networks, including CBC. She is also the author of three poetry collections. The Last Exiles  is her first novel.

Ann Shin's documentary gives a voice to the refugee experience

Exhibitionists

5 years ago
2:40
Documentary filmmaker Ann Shin follows the real-life story about two men reunited in Canada 29 years after they met fighting on opposite sides of the Iran-Iraq war in her film My Enemy, My Brother. 2:40

Lucky by Marissa Stapley

Lucky is a novel by Marissa Stapley. (Simon & Schuster, Eugene Choi)

Lucky is a novel about a scam artist named Lucky Armstrong. She just pulled off her biggest scam yet, a million dollar heist with her boyfriend. But things don't go as planned and Lucky ends up alone. Her escape hatch is a lucky lottery ticket she bought. It's worth millions, but if she cashes it in, the police will know where she is. With no one she can trust, and nothing to lose, what is she going to do?

When you can read it: April 6, 2021

Marissa Stapley is a writer and journalist from Toronto. Her other novels include Mating for Life, Things to Do When It's Raining and The Last Resort.

Marissa Stapley on her latest novel, about family secrets and second chances. 2:30

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Hana Khan Carries On is a novel by Uzma Jalaluddin. (uzmajalaluddin.com, HarperAvenue)

Hana Khan Carries On is a romantic comedy from Uzma Jalaluddin. In Hana Khan Carries On, Hana is an aspiring radio host who is working at her family's halal restaurant. When her aunt and a cousin come to town, and a rival restaurant opens in their neighbourhood, Hana's life is upended and family secrets are revealed. Fighting for her family is a big battle, one that will put all of Hana's skills to the test. It's a battle that gets more complicated by Hana's growing attraction to the rival restaurant's attractive owner, Aydin.

When you can read it: April 6, 2021

Uzma Jalaluddin is a teacher, parenting columnist and author based in Ontario. She is also the author of the novel Ayesha At Last.

Uzma Jalaluddin, the author of Ayesha at Last, on three of her favourite YA novels. 13:46

Molly Falls to Earth by Maria Mutch

Molly Falls to Earth is a novel by Maria Mutch. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Robin Wilson)

One day in Manhattan, choreographer Molly Volkova collapses on the sidewalk and has a seizure for seven minutes. During the course of the event, Molly is haunted by memories of her past. Interweaving multiple narrative voices, Molly Falls to Earth contemplates the weight of the past, the future and what it means to live. 

When you can read it: April 27, 2021

Maria Mutch is a writer and essayist. Her first book, Know the Night, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award in 2014 and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

The Good Father by Wayne Grady

The Good Father is a book by Wayne Grady. (Doubleday Canada, Gerry Kingsley)

The Good Father is about a divorced man, Harry, and his daughter, Daphne. Harry is living a quiet life in Toronto with his second wife, while Daphne is a volatile teenager growing up in Vancouver. But when a terrible event takes place, both Harry and Daphne are forced to re-examine their lives, and their relationship to each other.

When you can read it: April 27, 2021

Wayne Grady is a writer and translator from Kingston, Ont. His other books include the nonfiction books The Quiet Limit of the World, Bringing Back the Dodo and Tree: A Life Story, co-written with David Suzuki, and the novels Emancipation Day and Up From Freedom. Emancipation Day won the 2013 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Wayne Grady on exploring race, identity and family history in his novel Up from Freedom, set in the United States in the mid-1800s. 15:39

Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham

Letters from Across the Sea is a historical novel by Genevieve Graham. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Bryghton Towns)

Letters Across the Sea is the story of a Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour in Toronto, against the backdrop of the Depression. Their lives are forever changed living through the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and a wave of hate that would ignite the Second World War.

When you can read it: April 27, 2021

Genevieve Graham is a historical fiction writer from Nova Scotia. Her other books include At the Mountain's Edge, Tides of Honour, Come From Away and The Forgotten Home Child.

Genevieve Graham is a bestselling author of Canadian historical fiction. She talks about the real life inspiration behind her new book, The Forgotten Home Child. 3:18

We, Jane by Aimee Wall

We, Jane is a novel by Aimee Wall. (Book*Hug, Richmond Lam)

We, Jane is about a young woman named Marthe, who ends up befriending an older woman while living in Montreal. She learns about how the woman used to help young women in rural Newfoundland get abortions, and the two return to the island to continue this cause. But over time, things become more difficult, and more complicated, than Marthe ever imagined.

When you can read it: April 27, 2021

Aimee Wall is a writer and translator from Newfoundland who now lives in Montreal. Her translations include Vickie Gendreau's novels Testament and Drama Queens. We, Jane is her first novel.

Radium Girl by Sofi Papamarko

Radium Girl is a short story collection by Sofi Papamarko. (Wolsak & Wynn, sofipapamarko.com)

Radium Girl is a collection of 12 stories that each tell the story of triumph and heartbreak when up against difficult circumstances. The title story, Radium Girl, refers to a story about the inner workings of Marie Curie's mind.

When you can read it: May 1, 2021

Sofi Papamarko is a writer and columnist from Toronto. Her work has appeared on CBC and in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Chatelaine and Flare. Radium Girl is her first book.

The Lover, the Lake by Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau, translated by Susan Ouriou

The Lover, the Lake is a novel by Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau (pictured), translated by Susan Ouriou. (Freehand Books)

The Lover, the Lake was a sensation when it was originally published in French. Now available in English, The Lover, the Lake is a celebration of Indigenous sexuality and sensuality. It is the story of a forbidden but fulfilling love affair between Wabougouni and Gabrie, set against the backdrop of Lake Abitibi.

When you can read it: May 3, 2021

Virginia Pésémapeo Bordeleau is a visual artist and published author of Cree origin. She has published three novels and four poetry collections, including Blue Bear Woman.

Susan Ouriou is a writer, editor and literary translator from Calgary. She has won the Governor General's Literary Award for translation for her work.

Second Place by Rachel Cusk

Second Place is a novel by Rachel Cusk. (HarperCollins Canada)

Second Place is a novel about a woman who invites a famous artist to her remote coastal town. She hopes that his vision and talent will change her life, and her perspective on things. What unfolds is a study of humanity, beauty and connection, as the novel explores how our internal and external lives are connected.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Rachel Cusk is a Canadian-born novelist who lives in the U.K. She is best known for her Outline trilogy, which is comprised of the novels Outline, Transit and Kudos. Both Outline and Transit were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Rachel Cusk on her latest novel, a kind of autofiction in which the life of the protagonist closely resembles her own. 17:34

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Find You First is a book by Linwood Barclay. (HarperLuxe)

Find You First is the latest thriller from bestselling author Linwood Barclay. Miles Cookson is a millionaire who has been told he only has a short time left to live. He decides it's time to connect with the children that were born with sperm he donated decades before. But as his search unfolds, his offspring vanish, one by one. What is happening? Who is behind it? And can Miles figure it out before it's too late?

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Barclay is an American Canadian thriller writer, with almost 20 books to his credit. His books include the adult thrillers Broken Promise, A Noise Downstairs, Elevator Pitch and the middle-grade novels Escape and Chase.

Linwood Barclay talks about the art of writing crime fiction

CBC Books

10 months ago
4:11
In the CBC Books 'Why I Write' series, Canadian authors talk about what literature means to them. 4:11

The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

The Son of the House is a novel by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia. (Dundurn Press)

The Son of the House is the story of two Nigerian women, the housemaid Nwabulu and the wealthy Julie. The two live very different lives, but when both are kidnapped and forced to spend days together in a dark, tiny room, they connect and keep hope alive through sharing their lives' stories, and finding common ground.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic and writer who divides her time between Lagos and Halifax. The Son of the House is her first novel.

Lost Immunity by Daniel Kalla

Lost Immunity is a novel by Daniel Kalla. (Michael Bednar Photography, Simon & Schuster Canada)

In the novel Lost Immunity, a dangerous bacteria has caused local outbreaks around the world. When it hits Seattle, the local public health officer asks a pharmaceutical company working on the vaccine to release it to the city early. At first, the controversial plan works. But when people start dying from an even more terrible and more mysterious illness, the vaccine gets blamed. Can they figure out what's really happening before it's too late?

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Daniel Kalla is an emergency room doctor, as well as an international bestselling author of 10 books, including We All Fall Down and The Last High.

Daniel Kalla talks to Shelagh Rogers about his new book, We All Fall Down. 16:09

Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng

Swimming Back to Trout River is a novel by Linda Rui Feng. (Yanzhi Meng, Simon & Schuster Canada)

In Swimming Back to Trout River, Junie is a 10-year-old living in a village in Chin with her grandparents. Her parents left for America several years before. Her father has written her a letter, to let her know he will come back to get her before she turns 12. But Junie doesn't want to go. And she doesn't know how much her parents have changed. They have broken up, and are dealing with trauma from their past. But Junie's father is determined to make things right, and make sure Junie's future is brighter than his ever was.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Linda Rui Feng is an academic and writer, who is currently a professor of Chinese cultural history at the University of Toronto. Swimming Back to Trout River is her first novel.

What You Are by M.G. Vassanji

What You Are is a short story collection by M.G. Vassanji. (Doubleday Canada, Derek Shapton)

In the short story collection What You Aretwo-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji engages with the intellectual and political questions that inspire him as a writer and a citizen, while always matching the energy of his ideas with the empathy and emotional depth he invests in his characters. What You Are weaves between wistful memories of youthful ambition and the compromises and comforts of age in 15 compelling stories.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Vassanji is an author from Toronto. He has published short stories, novels, memoir and biography. He has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize twice: in 1994 for The Book of Secrets and in 2003 for The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been awarded several honorary doctorates. His novel Nostalgia was defended on Canada Reads 2017 by Jody Mitic.

M.G. Vassanji on his book about a future dystopia in which humans have almost discovered immortality. 14:38

Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson

Not Dark Yet is a novel by Peter Robinson. (Paul Hansen, McClelland & Stewart)

Not Dark Yet is the 27th book in the Inspector Banks mystery series by Peter Robinson. In Not Dark Yet, there's been a double murder on a property developer's luxury home. The owner has ties to the mafia — and when the security camera reveals ties to even more crimes, the original murders that brought Banks on the scene look completely different.

When you can read it: May 18, 2021

Robinson is a Canadian mystery writer. His books have won awards and have been translated into 20 languages. He's been called the master of the police procedural — and with the latest Inspector Banks novel Not Dark Yet, he's up to book number 27 in the popular series. 

Peter Robinson, who has been called "the master of police procedurals" on his latest Inspector Banks mystery, Many Rivers to Cross. 14:47

Sufferance by Thomas King

Sufferance is a novel by Thomas King. (HarperCollins Canada)

Sufferance is about Jeremiah Camp, a man who can look into the "heart of humanity" and see what's really causing society's biggest problems. But when he's seen one too many problems, he decides to go into hiding. But he can't escape his past — he once made a list of 12 billionaires for a past job. When the men on this list start dying, one by one, people want to know why.

When you can read it: May 18, 2021

Thomas King is a Canadian American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. He delivered the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. His books include Green Grass, Running Water, Truth & Bright Water, The Inconvenient Indian and The Back of the Turtle. He also writes the DreadfulWater mystery series.

Green Grass, Running Water was defended by Glen Murray on Canada Reads 2004 and The Inconvenient Indian was defended by Craig Kielburger on Canada Reads 2015. 

Recorded at Montreal's Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, Thomas King joins Rosanna Deerchild on stage in this extended conversation about writing, research and Indigenous humour. 40:13

Darkness by David Adams Richards

Darkness is a novel by David Adams Richards. (Doubleday Canada, Bruce Peters)

In Darkness, John Delano is asked by Orville MacDurmot's sister to find out who murdered Orville, and why. As the investigation unfolds, Delano gets drawn deeper and deeper into Miramichi's dark and troubled history — and comes face-to-face with his own demons, and those who wronged him. Darkness tells the story of both men, Orville and Delano, while exploring the dark side of personal ambition.

When you can read it: May 25, 2021

David Adams Richards is a novelist, nonfiction writer and Canadian senator from New Brunswick. His books include Nights Below Station Street, Road to the Stilt House, Mercy Among the Children, Mary Cyr and Crimes Against My Brother. Mercy Among the Children won the 2000 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Defining N.B. culture

NB Votes 2010

11 years ago
8:47
David Adams Richards explains to CBC's Harry Forestell why the issue of culture funding should be discussed in the N.B. election campaign 8:47

Day for Night by Jean McNeil

Day for Night is a novel by Jean McNeil. (ECW Press, Diego Ferrari)

Day for Night is a novel about a couple, Richard and Joanna, who are making a film about Walter Benjamin. Walter Benjamin was a Jewish German who killed himself while running from the Nazis in 1940. Richard and Joanna are making this movie on the eve of Brexit, and the unsettled political state, the intense experience of making a movie together and the charismatic actor they cast as Walter turn their lives upside down.

When you can read it: May 25, 2021

Jean McNeil is a Canadian writer who lives in the U.K. She is the author of several books, including Ice Diaries: an Antarctic Memoir. Her story The Kusi made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Jean McNeil on her memoir of visiting Antartica. 10:59

The Sister's Tale by Beth Powning

The Sister’s Tale is a novel by Beth Powning. (Knopf Canada, Peter Powning)

The Sister's Tale is the sister novel to Beth Powning's The Sea Captain's Wife. In The Sister's Tale, Josephine Galloway, a sea captain's wife, is drawn to taking in a British home child named Flora. When Josephine suddenly becomes the manager of a boarding house, she is faced with bringing harmony, stability and peace to the lives of several women, including Flora's and her own.

When you can read it: May 25, 2021

Powning is a writer from New Brunswick. Her other books include the nonfiction work Seeds of Another Summer: Finding the Spirit of Home in Nature, the memoir Shadow Child and the novels The Hatbox Letters and The Sea Captain's Wife.

Marilla Before Anne by Louise Michalos

Marilla Before Anne is a novel by Louise Michalos. (Nicola Davidson, Nimbus Publishing)

Marilla Before Anne, the debut novel by Louise Michalos, imagines what Marilla Cuthbert's life was like before Anne Shirley moved to Avonlea. In Marilla Before Anne, Marilla is 18 years old and coming-of-age in Halifax. But an unlikely event changes her life forever, shaping the Marilla Anne of Green Gables fans meet years later.

When you can read it: May 31, 2021

Louise Michalos is a writer from Nova Scotia. Marilla Before Anne is her first novel.

This Eden by Ed O'Loughlin

This Eden is a novel by Ed O'Loughlin. (House of Anansi Press)

This Eden is a techno thriller about a man named Michael. He gets caught up with a spy named Aoife and a wargamer named Towse when his girlfriend, a coder who was headhunted by a dangerous tech mogul, dies. The unlikely threesome end up on a chase around the world for the truth — and for their lives.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Ed O'Loughlin is a Canadian author and journalist who currently lives in Dublin. His other books include the novels Not Untrue and Not Unkind and Minds of Winter.  Minds of Winter was a finalist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Jocelyne Saucier, translated by Rhonda Mullins

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep is a novel by Jocelyne Saucier (pictured), translated by Rhonda Mullins. (Ariane Ouellett, Coach House Books)

Gladys is an old woman determined to end her life on her own terms. She's lived in the Ontario town of Swastika for the past 50 years. She leaves the town, and her daughter, behind when she takes the train north. But where did she go? An unnamed narrator tells Gladys' story in And Miles to Go Before I Sleep.

When you can read it: June 15, 2021

Jocelyne Saucier is a novelist from New Brunswick. Three out of her four novels have been finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards. Dancer and presenter Geneviève Guérard championed her fourth novel, Il pleuvait des oiseaux, during the 2013 edition of Le combat national des livres. Two years later, the novel's English translation, And the Birds Rained Down, was defended by folk singer Martha Wainwright on Canada Reads.

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. She won the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One Cardinals. She has also translated Louis Carmain's Guano, Élise Turcotte's Guyana, Hervé Fischer's The Decline of the Hollywood Empire and Julie Demers's Little Beast.

Jocelyne Saucier on The Next Chapter 3:56

Home of the Floating Lily by Silmy Abdullah

Home of the Floating Lily ia novel by Silmy Abdullah. (Dundurn Press)

Home of the Floating Lily is a short story collection about the lives of Bangladeshi immigrants living in Toronto, exploring the love, loss, displacement and connection that comes with making a new country home. A newly married woman, an international student, a domestic helper, and a working-class single mother are just a few of the characters who come to life in these dynamic and vibrant stories.

When you can read it: June 22, 2021

Silmy Abdullah is a lawyer and author who lives in Toronto. Home of the Floating Lily is her first book.

The Snow Line by Tessa McWatt

The Snow Line is a novel by Tessa McWatt. (Christine Mofardin, Random House Canada)

In the novel The Snow Line, a wedding in India brings four unlikely people together: a yoga instructor named Yosh, a cousin of the bride named Monica, a childhood friend of the bride named Reema and an elderly guest named Jackson, who has brought his wife's ashes with him. As the wedding festivities unfold, the characters come together in unexpected and moving ways. They end up travelling together to scatter the ashes, complicating the dynamics and revealing even more secrets.

When you can read it: July 2, 2021

Tessa McWatt is the author of several works of fiction. Her novels include Dragons Cry, Vital Signs and Higher Ed. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada and is the author of the memoir Shame on Me.

The novelist Tessa McWatt on her award-winning memoir Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging 21:03

A Boring Wife Settles the Score by Marie-Renée Lavoie, translated by Arielle Aaronson

A Boring Wife Settles the Score is a novel by Marie-Renée Lavoie (pictured), translated by Arielle Aaronson. (Martine Doyon, House of Anansi Press)

A Boring Wife Settles the Score is a sequel to the funny and heartfelt novel Autopsy of a Boring Wife. In A Boring Wife Settles the Score, Diane is putting her life back together again. She has a job at a daycare, her best friend Claudine and a new mission in life: to find romance once again.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Marie-Renée Lavoie is the author of three other books, including Mister Roger and Me (La petite et le vieux in French), which won Radio-Canada's Le combat national des livres in 2012. Lavoie lives in Montreal.

Arielle Aaronson is a translator from Montreal.

Our books columnist, Jael Richardson, fills us in on a new book to check out: Autopsy of a Boring Wife by Marie-Renée Lavoie. 6:26

The Hunted by Roz Nay

Roz Nay is a Canadian thriller writer. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

In the thriller The Hunted, Stevie is looking to start over. When her boyfriend accepts a job as a diver for an ecotourism company, Stevie decides to go with him. But the romantic and secluded tropical island isn't the paradise Stevie was expecting. New friends help Stevie shake off this feeling — but when it becomes apparent there's a killer among them, Stevie knows she's next.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Roz Nay is a thriller writer from British Columbia. Her other books include Our Little Secret and Hurry Home. Our Little Secret, won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for best foreign thriller.

Roz Nay talks about her sophomore psychological thriller Hurry Home, which tells the story of two sisters and their dark secret past. 2:48

Bleeding Light by Rob Benvie

Bleeding Light is a book by Rob Benvie. (Invisible Publishing)

Bleeding Light is from musician and writer Rob Benvie. It's about how we are all connected, mystically, spiritually, symbolically and randomly, telling the stories of four seemingly unconnected characters, each with searching for what's missing.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Rob Benvie is a Toronto-based musician and writer originally from Nova Scotia. He has performed with the musical acts Thrush Hermit and The Dears, among others. He is also the author of the novels Safety of War and Maintenance.

Her Turn by Katherine Ashenburg

Her Turn is a novel by Katherine Ashenburg. (Joy von Tiedemann, Knopf Canada)

Her Turn is a novel about a woman named Liz, who works as a newspaper columnist in D.C., just before the 2016 presidential election. Liz edits a column called "My Turn," where readers across the country submit essays. When the woman who broke up Liz's marriage submits an essay (she does not know Liz edits the column), it sends Liz spiralling. Liz must then face the mess she's made of things, while facing her past at the same time. 

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Katherine Ashenburg is a writer, journalist who has worked for the Globe and Mail and the CBC. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Going to Town, The Mourner's Dance, The Dirt on Clean and the novel Sofie & Cecilia.

The award-winning nonfiction writer on her debut novel about two women who are married to famous artists, but have ambitions of their own. 6:42

The Rebellious Tide by Eddy Boudel Tan

The Rebellious Tide is a novel by Eddy Boudel Tan. (Dundurn Press)

The Rebellious Tide is a novel about a young man named Sebastien who is determined to discover the truth about his family. His mother always told Sebastien that his father was a sailor who got her pregnant and disappeared. When Sebastien's mother dies, he decides to find his father, and find out why he left all those years ago.

When you can read it: July 13, 2021

Eddy Boudel Tan is a writer from Vancouver, where he co-founded the Sidewalk Supper Project. He is also the author of the novel After Elias.

What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad

What Strange Paradise is a novel by Omar El Akkad. (McClelland & Stewart, Michael Lionstar)

What Strange Paradise is a novel that tells the story of a global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. Nine-year-old Amir is the only survivor from a ship full of refugees coming to a small island nation. He ends up with a teenage girl named Vanna, who lives on the island. Even though they don't share a common language or culture, Vanna becomes determined to keep Amir safe. What Strange Paradise tells both their stories and how they each reached this moment, while asking the questions, "How did we get here?" and "What are we going to do about it?"

When you can read it: July 20, 2021

Omar El Akkad is a Canadian journalist and author who currently lives in Portland. He is also the author of the novel American War, which was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Canadian journalist and author Omar El Akkad speaks with Chattopadhyay from his home in the woods of Oregon about what it's like to be on the front lines of the wild fires, as well as the pandemic and police brutality protests — mirroring the climate disaster, disease and political disruption he presaged in his 2017 novel, American War. For more, visit: www.cbc.ca/1.5726357 12:54

We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin

We Want What We Want is a short story collection by Alix Ohlin (Emily Cooper, House of Anansi Press)

We Want What We Want is a short story collection by Giller Prize-nominated writer Alix Ohlin. These stories explore parenthood, lost loves, wasted potential and more, showcasing life's humour, discomfort and beauty.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Ohlin is a writer from Vancouver and the current chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. Her books include the novels Inside, Dual Citizens and the short story collection Signs and Wonders. Both Inside and Dual Citizens were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, in 2012 and 2019.

Alix Ohlin isn't quite a household name, but she's already been nominated for Canada's most prestigious fiction award as many times as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Miriam Toews. Ohlin received her second nomination for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her new book, Dual Citizens, in which she explores the intensity and messiness of relationships – familial and otherwise. 30:17

The Winter Wives by Linden MacIntyre

The Winter Wives is a novel by Linden MacIntyre. (Tom Zsolt, Random House Canada)

The Winter Wives is a thriller from novelist and journalist Linden McIntyre. The Winter Wives is the story of two men with a long history: Allan and Bryan. Allan was a football star who got the girl and built a successful business. Byron is quieter, lost the girl he loved to Allan (but married her sister) and is a modestly successful lawyer. But when Allan suffers a stroke, all his secrets start to come out. It turns out his life wasn't as charmed or as successful as it seemed — and Byron is left to pick up the pieces, while figuring out what this all means for his own life.

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

MacIntyre is a former CBC journalist and novelist. His novel The Bishop's Man won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2009. His other books include the novels Why Men Lie, The Only Cafe and the nonfiction book The Wake.

Shelagh's extended conversation with Linden MacIntyre, author of "Punishment". 31:44

The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

The Perfect Family is a novel by Robyn Harding. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Tallulah Photography)

The Perfect Family is the latest thriller from Robyn Harding. In The Perfect Family, the Adlers seem perfect: happy and successful parents, a charming house and two happy and healthy teenage kids. But when vandals start attacking their house, this facade unravels. Who is attacking their home, and why? The answer lies in a dark secret that could change everything.

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

Harding is a writer and filmmaker from Vancouver. Her thrillers include The Party, Her Pretty Face and The Swap. Harding also wrote the screenplay for the independent film The Steps, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Is reading your refuge? and is it especially important to you during this pandemic? If so, this is the discussion for you. Saskatoon author Lisa Bird-Wilson shares her top book picks for the summer with Saskatoon Morning guest host Heather Morrison. 7:57

Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. (Julie Cortens)

In Probably Ruby, Ruby, who was adopted, has little knowledge of her Indigenous roots. Her parents' separation sparks a chain reaction of events — and her life is beset by alcohol, drugs and bad relationships. Left with no support network, Ruby searches for her unknown roots in the most destructive of places. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. Her book Just Pretending won four Saskatchewan Book Awards. She is also the author of the poetry collection The Red Files.

David Demchuk on his horror novel "The Bone Mother," a book of interconnected stories where myth and reality intersect. 16:14

Red X by David Demchuk

Red X is a novel by David Demchuk. (daviddemchuk.com, Strange Light)

In the novel Red X, men are disappearing from the gay village in Toronto, one by one. Their disappearances are ignored by the police and media, but they rock the community — the same community dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis, police brutality and homophobia. This story unfolds alongside author David Demchuk's own story, as he explores the relationship between queerness and horror and how the scariest monsters that move through his community aren't imaginary, they are all too real.

When you can read it: Aug. 31, 2021

Demchuk is a writer and a CBC communications officer. His first book, The Bone Mother, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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