Sharon Bala, Omar El Akkad among finalists for $40K Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Books from Sharon Bala, David Demchuk and Omar El Akkad are among the finalists for the 2018 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, a $40,000 annual prize that celebrates debut Canadian novels.
The six books that comprise the 2018 finalists are:
- The Boat People by Sharon Bala
- The Bone Mother by David Demchuk
- American War by Omar El Akkad
- The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan
- The Black Peacock by Rachel Manley
- Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt
The 2018 jury is made up of professor and author Irene Gammel, award-winning author Dimitri Nasrallah and literary journalist, lecturer and critic Donna Bailey Nurse. The winner will be announced May 22, 2018 in Toronto.
The 2017 winner was Katherena Vermette's The Break. Keep reading to learn more about each of the 2018 finalists.
The Boat People by Sharon Bala
Sharon Bala is nominated for The Boat People, which tells the story of a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada — only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land. The Boat People was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018.
The Bone Mother by David Demchuk
David Demchuk, who works at CBC as a communications officer, is nominated for The Bone Mother, a collection of horror fairy tales from a group of Eastern European mythical creatures who are sharing their stories before possibly being destroyed by war. The book made the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist in 2017.
American War by Omar El Akkad
Omar El Akkad's American War takes place in a country devastated by environmental disasters and civil unrest and examines the risks people take to protect their family. It was one of five books in contention on Canada Reads 2018, where it was defended by actor Tahmoh Penikett.
The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan
The Water Beetles, which was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, is about a family dragged into a spiral of violence, repression and starvation in early-1940s Hong Kong.
The Black Peacock by Rachel Manley
The Black Peacock by Rachel Manley features two Caribbean-based characters who reflect on their love, life and friendship over the decades. Manley won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction in 1997 for the memoir Drumblair.
Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt
Dazzle Patterns, is a fictionalized account of a year in the life of three young people in a love triangle, trying to deal with life in the aftermath of the Halifax explosion.