Books

Katherena Vermette wins $40K Amazon.ca First Novel Award for The Break

The Break tells the story of a Winnipeg neighbourhood in shock after a young Indigenous girl is sexually assaulted.
Katherena Vermette is the author of the novel The Break. (CBC)

Katherena Vermette's The Break is the winner of the 2017 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, a $40,000 annual prize that celebrates debut Canadian novels.

The Break tells the story of a Winnipeg neighbourhood in shock after a young Indigenous girl is sexually assaulted. The Break was defended by Candy Palmater on Canada Reads in March and was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

Four other books were shortlisted for the prize, including White Elephant by Catherine Cooper, Accordéon by Kaie Kellough, So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum and Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains by Yasuko Thanh.

The winner was announced at a Toronto gala hosted by The Next Chapter host Shelagh Rogers on May 25, 2017.

The 2016 winner was Mona Awad for 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Other past winners include Joy Kogawa, Anne Michaels, Rohinton Mistry and André Alexis.

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