The great Canadian book debate is over for another year. What should you read next? CBC Books has some ideas for you.
Christian Allairechampion five little indians by Michelle Good and won Canada reads 2022.
five little indians follows five characters – Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie – who were taken from their families and sent to boarding school when they were very young. Barely out of childhood, they are released destitute and left to establish an adult life in East Vancouver. Haunted by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past.
five little indians is Good’s first novel. It also won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.
If you are done five little indians and looking for a new read, check out these Canadian books that explore similar themes – including intergenerational trauma, identity, healing and reconciliation.
Residents of Winnipeg’s North End take turns recounting Katherena Vermette’s first novel The break. The story centers on a terrible trauma and the characters around it, including Stella, a mixed-race mother who witnesses the crime, Scott, a mixed-race police officer who feels caught between two worlds, Phoenix, a recently homeless teenager. released from juvenile detention, and many other unforgettable voices.
The break was defended on Canada reads 2017 and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Vermette’s follow-up novel, The foreigners, takes place in the same world as The break. It won the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Vermette is a Métis writer living in Winnipeg. His other books include the poetry collections northern love songs and river womanand the four-book graphic novel series A Girl Called Echo. northern love songs won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry.
The next chapter4:35Katherena Vermette answers the Proust questionnaire from The Next Chapters
birdie is the story of Bernice, a Cree woman who leaves her home in northern Alberta and travels to British Columbia. On her journey west, she deals with past tragedies and learns more about her past and history.
birdie was defended on Canada reads 2016.
Tracey Lindberg is a Cree lawyer, teacher, activist, blues singer and Indigenous law expert. birdie is his first novel.
In Seven fallen feathers, journalist Tanya Talaga travels to Thunder Bay, Ontario to investigate the deaths of seven Aboriginal teenagers: Jordan Wabasse, Kyle Morrisseau, Curran Strang, Robyn Harper, Paul Panacheese, Reggie Bushie and Jethro Anderson. Talaga pays tribute to their lives and examines what their untimely deaths reveal about the injustices faced by Indigenous communities on a daily basis.
Seven fallen feathers is a national bestseller. He won the RBC Taylor Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing and the First Nation Communities Read: Young Adult/Adult Award in 2017.
Talaga is an award-winning investigative journalist. In 2017, she was named an Atkinson Fellow for Public Policy. The work produced during this period forms the basis of Talaga’s 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All our relationships: finding the way forward.
The flow11:28Tanya Talaga talks about the power of Anishinaabe storytelling
A northern Anishinaabe community loses power just as winter arrives, burying roads and creating panic as food supplies slowly run out. New arrivals arrive on the reservation, fleeing a nearby crisis, and tension mounts as disease begins to claim lives and chaos unfolds. A small group turns to the land and the Anishinaabe tradition to begin to rebuild and restore harmony.
Waubgeshig Rice is an Anishinaabe author, journalist and radio host from Wasauksing First Nation. He is also the author of Legacy and Midnight Sweat Lodge. He used to be the host of CBC Radio North.
Not reserved43:10Meet Indigenous podcasters who are decolonizing the airwaves
The novel Probably Ruby chronicles the life of Ruby, a young girl who grows up knowing very little about her native heritage. The separation from her parents sets off a chain reaction of events – and her life is beset by alcohol, drugs and bad relationships. Without a support network, Ruby seeks her unknown roots in the most destructive places.
Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Métis and Nêhiyaw writer from Saskatchewan. His book Just pretend won four Saskatchewan Book Awards. She is also the author of the poetry collection The red folders.
14:32Lisa Bird Wilson on Probably Ruby
Inside the dystopian world of Cherie Dimaline’s award-winning film The marrow thieves, climate change has ravaged the Earth, and a continent-wide hunt and slaughter of Indigenous people is underway. Sought for their bone marrow, which contains the lost ability to dream, a group of Native people seek refuge in the ancient lands.
In 2017, The marrow thieves won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature — Text and the Kirkus Prize for Children’s Literature. The national bestseller is currently being adapted for television. The following, star hunting, came out in 2021.
The marrow thieves was defended on Canada reads 2018.
Dimaline is a Métis writer and editor. His other books include red rooms, The girl who grew a galaxy, A sweet habit and empire of nature. The marrow thieves was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Best YA Novels of All Time.
The next chapter10:06Cherie Dimaline on “The Marrow Thieves”
Butter Honey Pork Bread is a novel about twin sisters Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother, Kambirinachi. Kambirinachi thinks she is a spirit that was meant to die as a small child. By staying alive, she curses her family – a fear that seems to come true when Kehinde experiences something that tears the family apart and divides the twins for years. But when the three women reunite years later, they must confront their past and find forgiveness.
Butter Honey Pork Bread was defended on Canada reads 2021. It was also longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction.
Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist. Her writing has been published in Malahat Review, Guts and Brittle Paper, and she was shortlisted for the 2019 Journey Prize. Butter Honey Pork Bread is his first book. She currently lives in Halifax.
The next chapter13:46Francesca Ekwuyasi on Pork Loaf with Butter and Honey
Small game hunting at the local Coward Gun Clubthe debut novel by Megan Gail Coles, revolves around a cast of flawed characters who become embroiled in each other’s hopes, dreams and pains as they try to survive tough economic times in Newfoundland -and-Labrador.
Small game hunting at the local Coward Gun Club was shortlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was champion on Canada reads 2020.
Coles is a playwright from St. John’s. She is also the author of the collection of short stories Eating habits of chronically lonely people and poetry collection Sachet. Coles is on the jury for the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize.
The next chapter17:07Megan Gail Coles on small game hunting at the local Coward Gun Club
Darrel J. McLeod’s mamaskatch is a memoir of his upbringing in Smith, Alberta, raised by his fierce Cree mother, Bertha. McLeod describes vivid memories of moose stew and wild mint tea, surrounded by siblings and cousins. From his mother, McLeod learned to be proud of his heritage and also shares his fractured stories after surviving the residential school system.
mamaskatch won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.
McLeod is a Cree writer from Treaty Eight Territory in northern Alberta. mamaskatch is his first book. He is also the author of the follow-up memoir Peyakow.
The next chapter16:02Darrel J. McLeod on Mamaskatch
indian horse by Richard Wagamese tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, a young Ojibway boy who is torn from his family and forced into residential school. Saul, a gifted hockey player, is both a victim and a witness to the dehumanizing abuse of the school’s students. As an adult, Saul becomes dependent on alcohol to cope with the trauma of his childhood.
indian horse was defended on Canada reads 2013.
Wagamese was an award-winning and successful Ojibway writer from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Ontario. His other works include the novels Stars light, Keeper ‘n Me, medicine walk, Company in tatters, him standing and wheel of dreams, the poetry book dreams on the run and briefs For Joshua, Ember and An indigenous life. He died in 2017.