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2016 Governor General's Award


Thien, Madeleine
Do not say we have nothing

2016 Winner

Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century.

Barwin, Gary.
Yiddish for pirates

2016 Finalist

Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates tells the compelling story of Moishe, a young man who leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot narrator who becomes his near-constant companion.

Powell, Kerry-Lee.
Willem De Kooning's paintbrush

2016 Finalist

"Ranging from an island holiday gone wrong to a dive bar on the upswing to a yuppie mother in a pricey subdivision seeing her worst fears come true, these deftly written stories are populated by barkeeps, good men down on their luck, rebellious teens, lonely immigrants, dreamers and realists, fools and quiet heroes. In author Kerry-Lee Powells skillful hands, each character, no matter what their choices, is deeply human in their search for connection. Powell holds us in her grasp, exploring with a black humour themes of belonging, the simmering potential for violence and the meaning of art no matter where it is found, and revealing with each story something essential about the way we see the world."--From publisher.

Irani, Anosh
The parcel

2016 Finalist

Madhu, born a boy, but a eunuch by choice, has spent most of her life in a clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, Bombay. Now 40, she has moved away from prostitution and is forced to beg to support the charismatic head of the clan, Gurumai. Later Madhu receives a call from the most feared brothel owner in the district: a "parcel" has arrived--a young girl from the provinces, betrayed and trafficked by her aunt--and Madhu must prepare it for its fate. Despite Madhu's reluctance, she is forced to take the job, causing her emotions to spiral out of control as her past comes back to haunt her.

Vermette, Katherena
The break

2016 Finalist

2016 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist 2016 Governor General's Literary Award Finalist When Stella, a young Metis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night.