Books·Canada Reads 2018

Sharon Bala

Sharon Bala is the author of The Boat People, a Canada Reads 2018 finalist.

Author of The Boat People, defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Sharon Bala is the author of The Boat People and recipient of the 2017 Journey Prize. (Nadra Ginting)

The Boat People by Sharon Bala was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018.  The winner of Canada Reads 2018 was Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, which was defended by Jeanne Beker

Sharon Bala was born in Dubai and currently lives in St. John's, where she is a member of the Port Authority writing group. Her short story Butter Tea at Starbucks won the Writers' Trust / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize in 2017. The Boat People is her first novel. The manuscript for the book won the 2015 Percy Janes First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the 2015 Fresh Fish Award. A three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador's Arts and Letters Award, she has stories published in Hazlitt, Grain, the Dalhousie Review, Riddle Fence, Room, PRISM international, the New Quarterly and in an anthology called Racket: New Writing From Newfoundland


Watch the 2018 Canada Reads panellists & authors in conversation with Gill Deacon

4 years ago
Duration 1:07:45
The Canada Reads defenders and authors took the stage in Toronto to discuss the five books that will be championed on CBC's battle of the books from March 26-29, 2018. Here and Now's Gill Deacon hosted the event in the Glenn Gould Studio. 1:07:45
Sharon Bala on her debut novel, which is in the running for Canada Reads 2018, and gives an inside look at what it's like to be an asylum seeker in Canada. 14:46
Award-winning writer Sharon Bala's debut novel, The Boat People, is about a group of about 500 Sri Lankan refugees who arrive in Canada only to face deportation and accusations of terrorism. 27:53

The Canada Reads 2018 contenders


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