Books

Books by Tomson Highway, Mary Lawson & Rivka Galchen among 10 finalists for 2022 Evergreen Award

The award is run by the Ontario Library Association. Book clubs, public libraries and other community forums can participate in voting for the winner.
Tomson Highway, left, Mary Lawson, centre, and Rivka Galchen are among the nominees for the 2022 Evergreen Award. (Sean Howard, Nathaniel Mobbs, Sandy Tait)

The finalists for the 2022 Evergreen Award have been announced by the Ontario Library Association.

Tomson Highway, Mary Lawson and Rivka Galchen are among the 10 finalists. Highway is nominated for his nonfiction book Permanent Astonishment, Lawson is nominated for her novel A Town Called Solace, while Galchen is a finalist for her novel Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch.

A committee of library professionals chooses the 10 finalists. Readers from across Canada can vote on the winner in September. Book clubs, public libraries and other community forums can participate in the program. 

The 2022 finalists are:

The winner will be revealed in October 2022, during Ontario Public Library Week.

Last year's winner was Saskatchewan author Michelle Good for her novel Five Little IndiansChristian Allaire is defending Five Little Indians by Michelle Good on Canada Reads 2022.

Other past winners include A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott, Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron and The Break by Katherena Vermette.

The Evergreen Award is part of the annual Ontario-wide Forest of Reading program.

The Forest of Reading program also has six English-language categories for readers in kindergarten through to high school. The finalists for those categories were announced in October 2021.

The Forest of Reading program is organized by the Ontario Library Association.

You can get to know the 2022 finalists below.

The Captive by Fiona King Foster 

The Captive is a novel by Fiona King Foster. (HarperCollins Publishers, Etan Muskat)

In The Captive, a woman named Brooke Holland is forced to confront her own past during an expedition to bring a fugitive to justice. Fearing that other members of the fugitive's family will want revenge, Brooke takes her family on a trek across dangerous terrain to reach the nearest marshal.

Fiona King Foster is a Toronto-based writer. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Hobart, Maisonneuve, Midway Journal and the New Quarterly.The Captive is her debut novel.

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.

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 DisfiguredShe was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize.

Amanda Leduc talks to Shelagh Rogers about her novel, The Centaur's Wife.

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen

Rivka Galchen is the author of Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch. (Sandy Tait, Harper Perennial)

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch takes place in a small German town in 1618, where an elderly widow is accused of witchcraft. In the German duchy of Württemberg, fear is palpable — the plague is spreading, and The Thirty Years' War has begun. So when a woman named Ursula Reinbold accuses widow Katharina of offering her a witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble.

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch was shortlisted for the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was on the Canada Reads 2022 longlist.

Rivka Galchen is a Canadian American writer. She is also the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. She lives in New York City.

The Canadian-born American novelist talks about magic and science and her new book about the real-life witch trial of the mother of 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Murder on the Inside by Catherine Fogarty

Murder on the Inside is a book by Catherine Fogarty. (Biblioasis, bigcoatmedia.com)

Murder on the Inside is about a real-life account of a prison standoff in Kingston, Ont., and the efforts for justice and reform it inspired. In 1971, a handful of prisoners attacked the guards at Kingston Penitentiary and seized control, making headlines around the world. For four days, the prisoners held the guards hostage, drawing attention to the dehumanizing realities of their incarceration.

Catherine Fogarty is a Canadian writer, television producer and director. She is also the founder and president of media production company Big Coat Media. Murder on the Inside is her first book.

Nothing But The Truth by Marie Henein

Nothing But the Truth is a book by Marie Henein. (Markian Lozowchuk, Signal)

In Nothing But The Truth, Canadian lawyer and author Marie Henein writes a memoir about her life and work. Henein is a Canadian immigrant from a tight-knit Egyptian-Lebanese family and through them learned the value of hard work and being true to herself and others. Nothing But The Truth examines the ethical and practical implications of being a criminal lawyer.

Marie Henein is a criminal defence lawyer, writer and public speaker based in Toronto. She has been interviewed on CBC's The National and The Current and has written for the Globe and Mail. Nothing But The Truth is her first book.

Not my job to judge moral culpability, says Marie Henein

11 months ago
Duration 1:36
Criminal defence lawyers have a specific role in the legal system, and it’s not one of judgement, says Henein.

Permanent Astonishment by Tomson Highway

Permanent Astonishment is a memoir by Tomson Highway. (Sean Howard, Penguin Random House)

Permanent Astonishment is a memoir by acclaimed writer Tomson Highway. Highway was born the 11th of 12 children in a nomadic caribou-hunting Cree family. Surrounded by the love of his family and the vast landscape of his home, he lived an idyllic far-north childhood. But five of his siblings died in childhood, and his parents wanted their two youngest sons, Tomson and Rene, to get big opportunities. This memoir offers insight into the Cree experience of culture, conquest and survival.

Permanent Astonishment won the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Highway is a Cree novelist, children's author, playwright and musician. Born in Manitoba, he is a member of the Barren Lands First Nation. His work includes Canadian theatre classics The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing and the novel Kiss of the Fur Queen. Highway is also one of the three jurors for the 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize

Host Rosanna Deerchild speaks with Tomson Highway, a world-renowned Cree playwright, novelist, and concert pianist, about his new memoir Permanent Astonishment, which just won the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction worth $60,000.

Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto, illustrated by Ann Xu

Shadow Life is a comic by Hiromi Goto. (First Second Press)

In the graphic novel Shadow Life76-year-old Kumiko is placed in a long-term care home by her daughters. It's not what Kumiko wants so she breaks out and takes refuge in an apartment she keeps secret from her children. She finds pleasure in simple, daily life, but Death's shadow haunts her. Kumiko is ready to fight for the life she's built herself, but how long can she fight back?

Hiromi Goto is a writer and editor from British Columbia. Her novels include Chorus of Mushrooms, Half World and Darkest Light. Shadow Life is her first graphic novel.

Ann Xu is an American illustrator.

In Canadian writer Hiromi Goto’s first graphic novel, Shadow Life, an independent senior named Kumiko breaks free from her assisted living facility and rents a bachelor apartment in a cool part of the city — until Death's shadow shows up. Goto joined Tom Power to tell us about the story and why she wants more older women of colour to be written as central characters.

Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin

Kim Echlin won the 2021 Toronto Book Award for Speak, Silence. (Penguin Random House)

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 with 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.

Speak, Silence won the 2021 Toronto Book Award.

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

Canadian writer Kim Echlin weaves testimony from Bosnian War “rape camps” into a new work of fiction that shows the power of speaking up.

Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng

Linda Rui Feng is the author of Swimming Back to Trout River. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

In Swimming Back to Trout River, Junie is a 10-year-old living in a village in China with her grandparents. Her parents left for America several years before. Her father has written her a letter saying that 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.

Swimming Back to Trout River was on the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist and was named one of the best books of the year by CBC Books.

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.

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.

A Town Called Solace was on the 2021 Booker Prize longlist.

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

Mary Lawson talks to Shelagh Rogers about A Town Called Solace.

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