Canada's got talent. With 2008 rapidly coming to a close, AbeBooks brings you the year in review with our top ten hottest new Canadian books. Read them all, and see if you agree. From crazy families to psychic phenomena and more, there's a lot to love from Canadian authors this year. Here are our picks, in no particular order:
With fantastic detail, larger-than-life characters and passionate empathy, Anthony De Sa invites readers into the lives of his characters and finds there both promise and the disappointment inherent in the choices made by the father and the expectations placed on the son. Barnacle Love made the shortlist of five favourites for this year's Giller Prize.
This year's choice for the BC Book Prize for fiction, Conceit brings to life the teeming, bawdy streets of London and the lushness of the 17th-century English countryside. It is a story of the unpredictable workings of the human heart. With characters plucked from the pages of history, Mary Novik's debut novel is an elegant, fully-imagined story you will find hard to leave behind.
Montreal during the turbulent mid-1980’s: Chernobyl has geiger counters thrumming across the globe, HIV/AIDS is cutting a deadly swath through the gay population , and locally, tempers flare over Bill 101. Funny, poignant and visceral, Ricci’s most recent masterpiece will remind you of the wonder of life, the beauty of existence and the great gift that is our connection to the universe.
From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the drug-fueled glamour of the Manhattan club scene, Joseph Boyden tracks his characters with a keen eye for the telling detail and a rare empathy. Sure to appeal to readers of Louise Erdrich and Jim Harrison, Through Black Spruce took the 2008 Giller Prize, and further establishes Boyden as a writer of startling originality.
Shortlisted for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Awards, the novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal's restless immigrant community, where a self-described "thief" has just failed to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a local park. Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend sessions with a well-intentioned but naïve therapist.
Some families appear destined for catastrophe: meet the Troutmans. Hattie's boyfriend has just dumped her, her sister Min is back in the psych ward, and Min's kids, Logan and Thebes, are not talking and talking way too much, respectively. Troutmans, the recipient of the 2008 Rogers Writers' Trust, is a remarkable journey for the reader, as its characters discover one another to be both crazier and more normal than any of them thought.
Long before her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was one of Canada’s most respected journalists. It is a testament to her skills and integrity that along with the admiration of her readers, she won the respect and trust of the soldiers. In the Governor General Literary Award-winning Fifteen Days, Blatchford creates a detailed, affecting picture of military life in the 21st century.
Following the trajectory of the Boer War, The Great Karoo is a deeply satisfying novel, marked by the complexities of its plot, the subtleties of its relationships, and the scale of its terrain. Exhilarating and gruesome by turns, it explores with passion and insight the lasting warmth of friendship and the legacy of devastation occasioned by war.The Great Karoo was shortlisted for the 2008 Governor General Literary Award for Fiction.
This brilliant novel with universal resonance tells the story of three people trying to survive in a city rife with the extreme fear of desperate times, and of the sorrowing cellist who plays undaunted in their midst.Longlisted for the 2008 Giller Prize, Cellist makes an extraordinary, imaginative leap that speaks powerfully to the dignity and generosity of the human spirit under extraordinary duress.