Cherie Dimaline, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson among finalists for $20K Trillium Book Award

There are six books —four works of fiction and two nonfiction — on the English-language shortlist, which recognizes writers from Ontario.
Cherie Dimaline is the author of The Marrow Thieves and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is the author of This Accident of Being Lost. (CBC/Zahra Siddiqui)

Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's This Accident of Being Lost are among the nominees for the Trillium Book Award, an annual $20,000 prize for Ontario writers.

There are six books — four works of fiction and two nonfiction — on the English-language shortlist.

Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves is a bestselling YA novel about an Indigenous teenager named Frenchie, who is on the run from residential school recruiters. The book is set in a dystopian future where North America's non-Indigenous population has lost the ability to dream. The book was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by Jully Black.

Simpson's This Accident of Being Lost is a poignant and powerful collection of songs and stories that explore what it means to be an Indigenous woman in Canada. The book was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2017.

James Maskalyk is on the shortlist for his memoir Life on the Ground Floorwhich chronicles his life working as a doctor in emergency rooms around the world. The book won the 2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Kyo Maclear is a finalist for her nonfiction book Birds Art Life. In the book, Maclear follows the adventures of an urban bird watcher and meditates on the intangible ways that art, nature and life intersect.

Rounding out the shortlist are two debut novels: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, a multi-perspective book about the diverse residents of a low-income neighbourhood, and So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum, a thriller about a small town reeling from the disappearance of a local woman.

The Trillium Book Award also has a separate poetry category, which offers a $10,000 prize to a first, second or third book of poetry. The English-language shortlist includes:

Visit the Trillium Book Award website to read about the French-language finalists.

The winners will be announced on June 21, 2018 in Toronto. Previous winners include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King and Michael Ondaatje.