Books

The CBC Books fall reading list: 30 Canadian books to read now

The CBC Books fall reading list is here! Here are 30 books, from fiction to poetry to comics, to check out this season.

The CBC Books fall reading list is here! Here are 30 books, from fiction to poetry to comics, to check out this season.

Ducks by Kate Beaton

(Drawn & Quarterly)

Ducks is an autobiographical graphic novel that recounts author Kate Beaton's time spent working in the Alberta oil sands. With the goal of paying off her student loans, Beaton leaves her tight-knit seaside Nova Scotia community and heads west, where she encounters harsh realities, including the everyday trauma that no one discusses.

Beaton is a cartoonist from Nova Scotia who launched her career by publishing the comic strip Hark! A Vagrant online. The sassy historical webcomic gained a following of 500,000 monthly visitors and was eventually turned into a bestselling book. Beaton's success continued with the book Step Aside, Pops! and two children's books, King Baby and The Princess and the Pony.

LISTEN | Kate Beaton discusses Ducks with Tom Power:

Kate Beaton is one of the most beloved cartoonists in North America, known for her historical comics Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside, Pops. But what many don’t know is that before her rise to the top of bestseller lists, she drew her earliest comics while working in Alberta’s oil sands. Beaton's latest book, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, is a graphic memoir about that time. She joined Tom Power to tell us more.

A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

A Minor Chorus is a novel by Billy-Ray Belcourt. (Hamish Hamilton, Jaye Simpson)

A Minor Chorus is the debut novel from Griffin Poetry Prize-winning poet and author Billy-Ray BelcourtA Minor Chorus follows an unnamed narrator who abandons his thesis and goes back to his hometown, where he has a series of intimate encounters bringing the modern queer and Indigenous experience into focus.

Belcourt is a writer and academic from Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta. In 2016, he became the first Indigenous person from Canada to be a Rhodes Scholar. Belcourt won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for This Wound is a World. He is also the author of NDN Coping Mechanisms.

LISTEN | Billy-Ray Belcourt on the power Indigenous joy:

Billy Ray Belcourt's memoir A History of My Brief Body just won a 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prize. This past spring, he spoke with Piya Chattopadhyay about how he has blazed a trail of firsts as an Indigenous writer and academic in Canada and beyond. He was the first Indigenous Rhodes Scholar from Canada and in 2018, became the youngest-ever winner of the Griffin Prize for Poetry. We revisit his conversation with Piya Chattopadhyay about how joy and love can be liberatory, rebellious practices for Indigenous people.

Nomenclature by Dionne Brand

Nomenclature is a book by Dionne Brand. (McClelland & Stewart, Jason Chow)

Nomenclature by Dionne Brand collects eight volumes of the celebrated poet and author's work that were originally published between 1982 and 2010. With a critical introduction by the literary scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe, the book features a new long poem, the titular Nomenclature for the Time Being, which is a thoughtful and wide-ranging reflection on location, consciousness, time and the current state of the world.

Brand is an award-winning poet and novelist from Toronto. She won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and the Trillium Book Award for her 1997 collection Land to Light On. Her collection thirsty won the 2003 Pat Lowther Award. In 2009, she served as the poet laureate of Toronto. Her novel What We All Long For won the City of Toronto Book Award in 2006. She won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize for Ossuaries and in 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada

Passengers by Michael Crummey

Passengers is a book by Michael Crummey. (House of Anansi, Holly Hogan)

Passengers is the sixth collection of poetry by Newfoundland writer and poet Michael Crummey. The work reimagines the life of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer who has embarked on a circumnavigation journey of Newfoundland. Along the way, the poems explore geography, folklore and the human spirit.

Crummey is a poet and novelist from Newfoundland and Labrador. He is the author of several acclaimed novels, including SweetlandGalore and The Innocents.

Haven by Emma Donoghue

Haven is a novel by Emma Donoghue. (HarperCollins Canada, Mark Raynes Roberts)

Haven is a novel set in 7th-century Ireland in a time of plague and terror. A scholar priest named Artt has a dream in which God tells him to leave the sinful world behind. With two monks — young Trian and old Cormac — he rows down the River Shannon in search of an isolated spot in which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find the steep, bare island known today as Skellig Michael. In such a place, what will survival mean? 

Emma Donoghue is an Irish Canadian writer. Her books include the novels LandingRoomFrog MusicThe WonderThe Pull of the Stars and the children's book The Lotterys Plus OneRoom was an international bestseller and was adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Brie Larson.

LISTEN | Emma Donoghue discusses Haven with Tom Power:

Author Emma Donoghue has an uncanny talent for revealing humanity in the most inhumane of circumstances. She joined Tom Power to tell us why she chose an inhospitable rock in the middle of the ocean as the setting for her new novel, Haven, and gave us a sneak peek into her latest book-to-film adaptation, The Wonder.

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu

Kim Fu is the author of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century. (L D’Alessandro, Coach House Books)

In Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, a collection of short stories, Kim Fu turns the familiar on its head to weave tales of new worlds where strange happenings, like a girl growing wings on her legs or toy boxes that control the passage of time, are the ordinary trappings of everyday life. The stories deal with themes of death, technological consequence, guilt and sexuality and unmask the contradictions within humanity. 

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Fu is a Washington-based, Canadian-born fiction writer and poet. She has published two other works of fiction, For Today I Am a Boy and The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, and a book of poetry called How Festive the Ambulance.

LISTEN | Kim Fu discusses Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century with Shelagh Rogers:

Kim Fu talks to Shelagh Rogers about her short story collection, Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century.

Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage

Stray Dogs is a book by Rawi Hage. (Knopf Canada, Madeleine Thien)

The characters in Stray Dogs, a short story collection, are restless travellers, moving between nation states and states of mind, seeking connection and trying to escape the past. Set in Montreal, Beirut, Tokyo and more, these stories highlight the often random ways our fragile modern identities are constructed, destroyed and reborn. 

Stray Dogs is shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Rawi Hage is a Montreal-based writer. His books include De Niro's GameCockroach, Carnivaland Beirut Hellfire SocietyCockroach was defended by Samantha Bee on Canada Reads 2014.

LISTEN | Rawi Hage discusses Stray Dogs with Shelagh Rogers:

Rawi Hage talks to Shelagh Rogers about his book Stray Dogs and Other Stories.

We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky by Emma Hooper

We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky is a book by Emma Hooper. (Penguin Canada, Sean Maylon)

Set during the golden age of the Roman Empire, We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky follows five sisters who are abducted by soldiers from their small Portuguese village. The sisters are suddenly forced to face long-buried secrets as they find themselves at the centre of a deadly standoff. They must part ways to fight their own battles in order to survive. 

Emma Hooper is a musician and novelist originally from Alberta. Her other books include the novels Etta and Otto and Russell and James and Our Homesick Songs.

LISTEN | Emma Hooper discusses We Should Not Be Afraid Of The Sky:

Former Edmontonian and international best-selling author Emma Hooper has released a new book. We Should Not Be Afraid Of The Sky tells the story of five sisters trying to survive in Portugal during the age of the Roman Empire. Emma joins us to discuss her new novel and debuts new music she's been working on with her string quartet on Daybreak.

Jennie's Boy by Wayne Johnston

Jennie's Boy is a memoir by Wayne Johnston. (Knopf Canada, Mark Raynes Roberts)

Novelist Wayne Johnston tells the sad, tender and funny story of his childhood in Newfoundland in the memoir Jennie's Boy. At seven years old, Johnston was sick and too skinny. He had insomnia and a cough that wouldn't go away, despite the doctors removing his tonsils, adenoids and appendix in an effort to cure him. Jennie's Boy, named after Johnston's mother, is his tribute to his family and a community that were incredibly protective over him but were tired of making allowances for him. 

Johnston is a writer from Newfoundland. His novels include The Divine RyansA World ElsewhereThe Custodian of ParadiseThe Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a 2003 Canada Reads finalist, when it was championed by now prime minister Justin Trudeau.

LISTEN | Wayne Johnston discusses Jennie's Boy with Shelagh Rogers:

Wayne Johnston talks to Shelagh Rogers about his book, Jennie's Boy: A Newfoundland Childhood.

Namwayut by Chief Robert Joseph

Namwayut is a book by Chief Robert Joseph. (Page Two, Reconciliation Canada)

Namwayut follows Chief Robert Joseph — the hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk and a globally recognized peacebuilder — as he takes readers on a journey, starting with his childhood surviving residential school to his current role as a leader. Chief Joseph teaches readers about honour and respect for the truth of stories, so they can discover how to dismantle the walls of discrimination, hatred and racism.

Joseph is a hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk People, an ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and the chair of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation. He received the 2016 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award. 

LISTEN | Chief Robert Joseph reflects on his life and sharing his story:

In the weeks leading up to the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new memoir from an Indigenous elder, leader and residential school survivor is on book store shelves. Chief Robert Joseph joins us in studio.

Junie by Chelene Knight

Junie is a book by Chelene Knight. (Bookhug)

Junie is a novel about Junie, a creative and observant child, who moves to Hogan's Alley in the 1930s with her mother. Hogan's Alley is a thriving Black immigrant community in Vancouver's east end and Junie quickly makes meaningful relationships. As she moves into adulthood, Junie explores her artistic talents and sexuality, but her mother sinks further into alcoholism and the thriving neighbourhood once filled with potential begins to change. 

Chelene Knight is a writer and poet from Vancouver. She is the author of Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, which won the 2018 Vancouver Book Award.

LISTEN | Chelene Knight discusses Junie with Shelagh Rogers:

Chelene Knight on the inspiration behind her novel, Junie.

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama

In her debut novel, author Tsering Yangzom Lama asks why Tibetan voices and narratives have been ignored in the world’s conversation about the diasporic community. (Paige Critcher, McClelland & Stewart)

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies is a novel that recounts a Tibetan family's struggle to create new lives of dignity, love and hope after China's invasion of Tibet in the 1950s. Readers follow sisters Lhamo and Tenkyi on a multi-decade journey through exile, from a harrowing trek across the Himalayas to a refugee camp on the border of Nepal. Decades later, the sisters are separated. Tenyki lives in Toronto with Lhamo's daughter Dolma, who has to decide if it's worth risking her dreams to help her community. 

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies is shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Tsering Yangzom Lama is a Tibetan Canadian author based in Vancouver. Born and raised in Nepal, she's also lived in Toronto and New York City. We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies is her debut novel. Lama was named a writer to watch by CBC Books in 2022.

LISTEN | Tsering Yangzom Lama discusses We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies with Piya Chattopadhyay:

In April 2012, New York's Rubin Museum of Art – which specializes in Himalayan regions – had an unnamed 15th century mudstone statue on display. It seemed to depict a mythic Buddhist figure from Tibet, but it was nameless and devoid of a backstory. When writer Tsering Yangzom Lama looked at the icon, she saw a symbol of all that's been lost for those who fled Tibet — an autonomous region in China that it claims as part of its territory, but that many Tibetans have claimed as independent for centuries. The statue also inspired Lama's debut novel, We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies, an intergenerational story of a Tibetan family in exile. Lama walks Piya Chattopadhyay through her work of fiction, set between refugee settlements and one of the world's largest Tibetan diasporas: Toronto.

The Myth of Normal by Gabor Maté with Daniel Maté

The Myth of Normal is a book by Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté. (Knopf Canada, Ken Wilkinson)

In The Myth of Normal, Gabor Maté examines why chronic illness and general health problems are on the rise in Western countries with good healthcare systems. Maté explains how Western medicine, while technologically advanced, fails to treat the whole person and ignores cultural stressors. With his son Daniel, Maté untangles common myths about what makes us sick and offers a guide on health and healing.

Gabor Maté is a doctor and an expert on topics such as addiction, stress and childhood development. He's the author of several other books, including In the Realm of Hungry GhostsWhen the Body Says and The Cost of Hidden Stress.

Daniel Maté is a composer and lyricist whose musicals include The Longing and the Short of ItHansel & Gretl & Heidi & Gunter and Middle School Mysteries. He's received the Kleban Prize for Lyrics and the ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award.

LISTEN | Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté discuss our 'toxic culture' with Matt Galloway:

Canadian physician Dr. Gabor Maté says our overall health is on the decline — and he blames the society we live in. He and his son Daniel Maté discuss trauma, the power of a good walk for our mental health, and their new book The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture.

The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr

The Sleeping Car Porter is a book by Suzette Mayr. (Coach House Books)

The Sleeping Car Porter tells the story of Baxter, a Black man in 1929 who works as a sleeping car porter on a train that travels across the country. He smiles and tries to be invisible to the passengers, but what he really wants is to save up and go to dentistry school. On one particular trip out west, the train is stalled and Baxter finds a naughty postcard of two gay men. The postcard reawakens his memories and longings and puts his job in jeopardy. 

The Sleeping Car Porter is shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Suzette Mayr is a poet and novelist based in Calgary. She is the author of the novels Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley HallMonocerosMoon HoneyThe Widows and Venous Hum.

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

(Fany Ducharme, Simon & Schuster)

Please Join Us is a thriller with themes of identity, belonging and the power of community. Soon to be 40, a woman named Nicole is at a crossroads. Her career and marriage are both ending and she is faced with being evicted from her home. But an invitation from a secret organization leads her to a retreat in Colorado, where she soon discovers the group might be a cult. 

Catherine McKenzie is a former Montreal lawyer and author of several bestselling books, including the thrillers ForgottenHiddenSmoke and The Good Liar.

Sharp Edges by Leah Mol

Sharp Edges is a novel by Toronto based writer and editor Leah Mol. (Penguin Canada, Matt Dunn)

Abandoned by her best friend and ignored by her hypochondriac mother, 16-year-old Katie finds herself in an online world where women aren't ashamed of what they want in the novel Sharp Edges. As Katie becomes enmeshed in this virtual playground, she realizes that her newfound power may just be an illusion. 

Leah Mol is a writer and editor who graduated from the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. Her story Lipstick Day won the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize. She also won the 2020 Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writersSharp Edges is her debut novel.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

(Del Rey)

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, the latest novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, is set in 19th-century Mexico and has elements of the supernatural as it reimagines the classic work The Island of Doctor Moreau. Carlota Moreau is a young woman who lives in an estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. Carlota's father is the eccentric Doctor Moreau, a man whose scientific experiments have created the hybrids — part human, part animal monstrosities. Living in the jungle, Carlota is caught up in this world filled with secrets and horror. 

Born and raised in Mexico, Moreno-Garcia is the B.C. author of novels Signal to NoiseGods of Jade and ShadowUntamed ShoreThe Beautiful Ones and Velvet was the Night

LISTEN | Silvia Moreno-Garcia discusses The Daughter of Doctor Moreau with Shelagh Rogers:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia talks to Shelagh Rogers about her novel, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau0).

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is a book by Noor Naga. (Graywolf Press, Noor Naga)

Set shortly after the events of the Arab Spring, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is a novel that traces the relationship between two people — a wealthy Egyptian American woman and an unemployed man from the village of Shobrakheit — who meet in a cafe in Cairo. The pair fall in love but must contend with issues of identity, class and violence as they try to build a lasting relationship.

IIf an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Noor Naga is an Egyptian Canadian writer. She won the 2017 Bronwen Wallace Award for her poem The Mistress and the Ping. She also won the Disquiet Fiction Prize in 2019. In 2020, Noor was named a writer to watch by CBC Books. Her first book, the poetry collection Washes, Prayswas published in 2020. Noor is an instructor at the American University in Cairo.

LISTEN | Noor Naga discusses the need for more diversity in representations of Muslims in CanLit:

In her new novel-in-verse Washes, Prays, Noor Naga proposes there is space in CanLit between the Muslim terrorist and saint, for a Muslim mistress. Her book tells the story of a young Muslim woman in Toronto who has an affair with a married man, then faces a spiritual crisis. It's also an exploration of loneliness, longing, faith, and the role of technology in modern love.

Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah

Hotline by is a book by Dimitri Nasrallah. (Vehicule Press, Bruno Destombes)

It's 1986 and Muna Heddad has left behind a civil war in Lebanon and is living in Montreal in the novel Hotline. The only work she can find is as a hotline operator at a weight-loss centre where she fields calls from people responding to ads in magazines or on TV. These strangers have so much to say about their challenges, from marriages gone bad to personal inadequacies. Although her life in Canada is filled with invisible barriers, Muna is privy to her clients' deepest secrets.

Dimitri Nasrallah is a writer from Lebanon. He is the author of novels The BleedsNiko and Blackbodying. Nasrallah lives in Montreal and is the fiction editor at Esplanade Books.

LISTEN | Dimitri Nasrallah reflects on his novel Hotline and being longlisted for the Giller Prize:

Dimitri Nasrallah tells Sabrina about his novel 'Hotline' and how he feels about making the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

What We Both Know by Fawn Parker

What We Both Know is writer Fawn Parker's third novel. (Penguin Random House Canada)

In the novel What We Both Know, protagonist Hillary Greene's father, a famous author, is losing his memory in his old age — and with it, his ability to write. As an aspiring author and his full-time caretaker, Hillary agrees to ghostwrite his memoir — but delving into his past leads to unearthing buried memories of the abuse of her late sister Pauline, who took her own life not long ago.

Fawn Parker is a writer based in Toronto and Fredericton. She is also the author of the novels Set-Point and Dumb Show. Her story Feed Machine was longlisted for the 2020 McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Parker was named a writer to watch by CBC Books in 2022.

LISTEN | Fawn Parker discusses What We Both Know with Shelagh Rogers:

Fawn Parker on her novel, What We Both Know.

Utopia by Heidi Sopinka

Utopia is a book by Heidi Sopinka. (Hamish Hamilton, Emma McIntyre)

The novel Utopia is about a mysterious death in the 1970s California art world. When Romy, one of the only women to break into the male-dominated art scene, dies, a young and ambitious artist named Paz is drawn into the world Romy left behind. Soon Paz finds herself in a love triangle with Romy's art-star husband, Billy, and as Paz becomes more obsessed with Romy's life, a disturbing picture begins to emerge.

Heidi Sopinka is a Toronto-based writer, editor and designer. Her debut 2018 novel, The Dictionary of Animal Languages, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. She is a former environment columnist at the Globe and Mail and the co-founder of the clothing line Horses Atelier.

LISTEN |  Heidi Sopinka discusses Utopia with Shelagh Rogers:

Heidi Sopinka talks to Shelagh Rogers about her novel, Utopia.

The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan

The Foghorn Echoes is Vancouver writer Danny Ramadan's second novel. (Amanda Palmer, Penguin Random House)

The Foghorn Echoes is a novel about forbidden love and finding home in the midst of war. Set in war-torn Syria in 2003, two boys act on their feelings for one another and in an instant, their lives are changed forever. Ten years later, as they struggle to find peace and belonging, the past continues to reverberate and both men must face heartache and history.

Danny Ramadan is a Syrian Canadian author, public speaker and advocate for LGBTQ+ refugees. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award and was longlisted for Canada Reads 2018. He currently lives in Vancouver.

LISTEN | Danny Ramadan talks to Shelagh Rogers about The Foghorn Echoes:

Danny Ramadan talks to Shelagh Rogers about his novel, The Foghorn Echoes.

We Spread by Iain Reid

(AJR, Simon & Schuster)

In the thriller We Spread, Penny, an artist, finds herself in a long-term care residence after she's had one too many incidents. Initially surrounded by peers, conversing and painting, Penny begins to lose her grip on time and her place in the world. 

Iain Reid is an Ottawa-born author. His debut novel, the 2016 psychological thriller I'm Thinking of Ending Thingswas adapted into a film by American writer and director Charlie Kaufman for Netflix. He is also the author of the memoirs One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck.

LISTEN | Iain Reid shares why he became a thriller writer:

In the world of psychological thrillers, Canadian author Iain Reid is a bonafide hitmaker. His bestselling novels I'm Thinking of Ending Things and Foe have both been adapted for film, and his latest release, We Spread, is now headed down the same route. Reid sat down with Tom Power to talk about his new book, why he’s drawn to the suspenseful and his secrets for weaving a compelling story.

The Theory of Crows by David A. Robertson 

The Theory of Crows is a novel by David A. Robertson (Harper Perennial, Amber Green)

The Theory of Crows is a novel about a disconnected and distant relationship between a man named Matthew and his teenage daughter Holly. Following a tragic event, Matthew and Holly head out onto the land in search of a long-lost cabin on the family trapline, miles from the Cree community they once called home. When things go wrong during the journey, the father and daughter must rely on each other and the challenges they face eventually heal them in ways they never thought possible.

David A. Robertson is an author and graphic novelist of Swampy Cree heritage. Based in Winnipeg, he has published several books across a variety of genres, including picture books On the Trapline and When We Were Alone, the graphic novel Breakdown, and his memoir Black Water. Robertson was the winner of the 2021 Freedom to Read Award.

LISTEN | David A. Robertson discusses The Theory of Crows with Piya Chattopadhyay:

Winnipeg's David A. Robertson is best known for his acclaimed kids' books that tell stories related to the history of residential schools in Canada. But now, the award-winning Indigenous writer is releasing a work of adult literary fiction inspired by his own life story, called "The Theory of Crows". He joins Chattopadhyay, to ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to talk about the value of personal histories and why storytelling is so important on the journey to reconciliation.

Ezra's Ghosts by Darcy Tamayose

A composite of a pink and gold, cloudy book cover and its smiling author, with round glasses and brunette hair.
Ezra's Ghosts is a book by Darcy Tamayose. (NeWest Press)

In Ezra's Ghosts, a collection of fantastical stories, Darcy Tamayose introduces a cast of characters whose lives intersect in a quiet prairie town called Ezra. From a seeker of truth trapped in Ezra after her violent death, to the oldest man in town who came to Canada to escape imperial hardships, the stories in Ezra's Ghosts are linked by language, culture and grief.

Ezra's Ghosts is a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Darcy Tamayose is a writer and graphic designer from southern Alberta. Her work includes the novel, Odori and the YA book Katie Be Quiet. Tamayose lives in Lethbridge, Alta.

Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi

A composite of a yellow book covering featuring an peeled tangerine and a photo of the author, who has short gray hair and a groomed beard.
Her First Palestinian is a short story collection by Toronto based writer and lawyer Saeed Teebi. (Eduardo Martins, House of Anansi Press)

Her First Palestinian is a debut collection of short stories revolving around the Palestinian immigrant experience in Canada. The stories explore themes of identity, loss, power and belonging as they look at the diverse and layered experiences of the Palestinian diaspora. One of the stories in the collection, the titular Her First Palestinian, was shortlisted for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.

Her First Palestinian is a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Saeed Teebi is a writer and lawyer based in Toronto. He was born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait and, after some time in the U.S., has lived in Canada since 1993. Her First Palestinian is his first book.

LISTEN | Saeed Teebi discusses Her First Palestinian with Tom Power:

In his debut story collection, Her First Palestinian, Saeed Teebi shines a light on the varied experiences of Palestinian Canadian characters navigating their way through life in their new home country. He joined Tom Power to tell us more.

The Long Road Home by Debra Thompson

The Long Road Home is a nonfiction book by Debra Thompson. (Simon & Schuster, Roshayne Alannah Morrison)

In The Long Road Home, Debra Thompson traces the roots of Black identities in North America and the routes they took across the Canada-U.S. border — the world's longest undefended border — in search of freedom and belonging. She starts in Shrewsbury, Ont., then revisits her four homes in the U.S. and at last, settles in Montreal. The places Thompson visits each reveals something about racism, democracy and the myth of multiculturalism. 

The Long Road Home is a finalist for the 2022 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Thompson is an associate professor of political science at McGill University and one of only five Black women in a political science department in Canada. She's also the author of The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census.

LISTEN | Debra Thompson discusses anti-Black racism with Piya Chattopadhyay:

When it comes to anti-Black racism, it's easy to point to the obvious. Empires and oppressors. Slavery and segregation. But political scientist Debra Thompson says we need to make space for nuance. Especially when we talk about racism in Canada. In her new book, The Long Road Home: On Blackness and Belonging, Thompson weaves her political science scholarship with personal narrative to have an honest conversation with Chattopadhyay about how race and anti-Black racism operate in Canada and the U.S.

Buffalo is the New Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel

Buffalo Is the New Buffalo is a book by Chelsea Vowel. (Zachary Ayotte, Arsenal Pulp Press)

In the short story collection Buffalo is the New Buffalo, Chelsea Vowel explores science fiction tropes through a Métis lens. From a rougarou (shapeshifter) in the 19th century trying to solve a murder in her community to a Métis man who's gored by a radioactive bison and gains super strength, these stories seek to understand the impact of colonization, remove its psychological baggage and recover ancestral traditions. Buffalo is the New Buffalo explores Indigenous existence and resistance and rewrites our shared history.

Vowel is a Métis writer and educator whose work focuses on language, gender identity and cultural resurgence. She is also the author of Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canadawhich addresses stereotypes and assumptions about Indigenous issues and offers insight into the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. She also contributed to graphic novel, This Placewhich was adapted into a 10-episode podcast for CBC Books.

LISTEN |  Chelsea Vowel discusses Buffalo is the New Buffalo with Shelagh Rogers:

Chelsea Vowel talks to Shelagh Rogers about her new book, Buffalo is the new Buffalo.

Making Love with the Land by Joshua Whitehead

Making Love with the Land is a book by Joshua Whitehead. (Knopf Canada)

Making Love with the Land is a personal work of nonfiction that employs a range of genres — essay, memoir, notes and confession — to explore queerness, Indigeneity and community work, as well as mental and physical health.

Making Love with the Land is a finalist for the 2022 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Joshua Whitehead is a two-spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw Indigiqueer scholar, poet, nonfiction writer and novelist from Peguis First Nation. His debut novel Jonny Appleseed won Canada Reads 2021after being successfully championed by actor Devery Jacobs.

LISTEN | Joshua Whitehead reflects on how we can be more respectful storytellers and story sharers:

When Joshua Whitehead was writing his first novel, Jonny Appleseed, he had a small, queer Indigenous audience in mind. But the book went on to become a bestseller, picking up literary prizes and winning CBC's Canada Reads. Now, Whitehead says it's time readers, journalists and academics start rethinking how we interrogate Indigenous authors about their work. In his new non-fiction collection of essays, Making Love with the Land, the two-spirit Oji-Cree storyteller from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba addresses all the uncomfortable and harmful questions he was asked in the wake of Jonny Appleseed. He joins Elamin Abdelmahmoud to argue for a more caring and respectful approach to storytelling and story sharing.

Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

Mouth to Mouth is a book by Antoine Wilson. (Avid Reader Press)

Mouth to Mouth is a novel that explores themes of money, fate and morality through the eyes of an art dealer who confesses the real story behind his success. In a first-class lounge at JFK airport, the book's narrator listens as a former classmate he vaguely remembers shares the story of his adult life — a life that forever changed course when he saved a man from drowning.

Antoine Wilson is a Canadian American novelist, editor and short story writer born in Montreal and based in California. Wilson's work has appeared in The Paris Review, StoryQuarterly, Best New American Voices, and the Los Angeles TimesHis novels include Panorama City and The InterloperMouth to Mouthhis third novel, was on the former U.S. president Barack Obama's summer reading list of his favourite books of 2022.

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