Canada Reads

Get to know Canada Reads author Katherena Vermette

Candy Palmater poses a series of questions to the author of The Break.

Katherena Vermette's debut novel The Break was a finalist on Canada Reads 2017. Candy Palmater championed the Indigenous family saga, which unravels the threads of a small Winnipeg community in the aftermath of a sexual assault.

Watch Candy Palmater get to know her author a little better in a rapid-fire Q&A round.

Canada Reads took place March 27–30, 2017. Check out all the details and get to know the contenders here.

What's your favourite word in any language?

I love the word Anishinaabe.

Is there a word you can't stand?

Moist. And panties.

What is your worst writing habit?

Not writing. I'm great at research. I love reading. I love doing all that. I put off writing until I absolutely have to.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Canada?

I really love Vancouver. I used to live there as a young person. I love going back. There's something very nostalgic about it. I also lived there when I was a kid. I love Kitsilano Beach. There's also a dog park next to Kitsilano Beach, which I'm pretty sure is the happiest place on Earth.

Who or what is your favourite character from literature?

I'm thinking about Jane Austen. Lizzy [from Pride and Prejudice]. Lizzy is my girl. She was so outspoken in her way. I love the subtleties of Jane Austen. Nothing's happening, they just look at each other and their worlds fall apart. That was all of 14 and 15 years old for me.

Hardcover or e-book?

Between those two, hardcover. But softcover every time, with flaps.

Would you rather give up reading or writing?

I'd probably give up writing. It's my passion and what I do, but it's hard. I'd rather read. It would be sad for me because I have so much to say.

Describe your book in five words.

Circle. Legacy. Resilience. Healing. Family.

Type on a computer or write with pen and paper?

Pen and paper. Journals. And certain kinds of pens.

Robertson Davies said writer are cat people. Do you agree or disagree?

I'm a total dog person. I talk about my dogs a lot. They're my little babies. I would disagree that writers are anything. We're so many things. We're all so different.

What is the last book that you read?

I just read Quiet by Susan Cain.