Amazon Canada and The Walrus Unveil Shortlist for the 46th Annual First Novel Award

One of my favourite books has been shortlisted by Amazon Canada and The Walrus for the 46th Annual First Novel Award, Emily Austin's Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead. You can check out my full review and a description of the book here.

I received a copy of Emily's novel, courtesy of Atria Books last July, and loved it so much that I interviewed Austin after reading. I also interviewed the cover designer, Klee McAdams. The book is coming out in paperback soon, with a gorgeous re-design by McAdams. 

Five other books have been shortlisted, two of which I included in round-up articles in my Daily Hive column over the past year.

The first is Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson (published by Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada)

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Cree-Métis writer and poet and the CEO of the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies, an organization committed to the renewal and development of Métis culture and education. Probably Ruby is her debut novel and her American debut. She lives in Saskatoon, Canada

Another from one of my round-ups is Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung (published by Strange Light)

Pik-Shuen Fung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Vancouver. She is a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, a Kundiman Mentorship Lab Fellow, and a Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony and Storyknife, and her writing has appeared in The Margins and Ricepaper Magazine. She holds an MFA in fine art from the School of Visual Arts and a BA in visual art from Brown University. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Newark Museum, the Katonah Museum, the Secret Theatre, and Beverly's.

Three other books, which I haven't yet explored, are also nominated. 

All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac (published by TouchWood Editions/Brindle & Glass)

Brian Thomas Isaac was born in 1950 on the Okanagan Indian Reserve, situated in south central British Columbia. As a teenager he had a short career riding bulls in local rodeos until common sense steered him away, then went on to work in the Northern Alberta oil fields and retired as a bricklayer. 

Writing is something he has done all of his life. A lover of sports, Brian has coached minor hockey and played slow-pitch, and when he's not spending time with his three grandchildren you can find him on the golf course. He lives with his wife in the Salmon River Valley near Falkland, BC. All the Quiet Places is Brian's first book.

Avenue of Champions by Conor Kerr (published by Nightwood Editions)

Conor Kerr is a Métis/Ukrainian educator, writer and harvester. He is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, part of the Edmonton Indigenous community and is descended from the Lac Ste. Anne and Fort Des Prairies Métis communities and the Papaschase Cree Nation. His Ukrainian family settled in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan. Conor works as the manager of Indigenous relations and supports at NorQuest College and is a sessional instructor in the pimâcihisowin program at MacEwan University. 

In 2019, Conor received The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize. His writing has been anthologized in Best Canadian Stories 2020, Best Canadian Poetry 2020 and has appeared in literary magazines across Canada. He is honoured to be able to live, work and chase Labrador retrievers around on the land that his family has called home for generations.

We, Jane by Aimee Wall (published by Book*hug Press)

Newfoundland-native Aimee Wall is a writer and translator. Her essays, short fiction, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Maisonneuve, Matrix Magazine, the Montreal Review of Books, and Lemon Hound. Wall’s translations include Vickie Gendreau’s novels Testament (2016), and Drama Queens (2019), and Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard (2017). She lives in Montreal. We, Jane is her first novel.

The winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award will be announced on Wednesday, June 1st, at an in-person ceremony, hosted by Jennifer Hollet (Executive Director, The Walrus), featuring Cherie Dimaline as a guest speaker.

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada's most prestigious authors. Previous winners include Nino Ricci (Lives of the Saints), Mona Awad (13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl), and Casey Plett (Little Fish). 

Author bios courtesy of the publishers.
For more information on the First Novel Award, visit Amazon.