5 NEW CANADIAN BOOKS ON OUR RADAR THIS MONTH.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan Heads-up: You probably won’t want to read Esi Edugyan’s latest novel in public. The Giller Prize winner’s works leave you emotionally gutted—and that’s kind of the point. In Washington Black, the Canadian writer transports us to the 1830s and focuses on the titular Washington, an 11-year-old slave seeking his true identity in a world that forbids him to have one. Women Talking by Miriam Toews Years before the #MeToo movement, women in a rural Mennonite colony were terrorized by a group of male sexual predators in their community. In her latest novel, Miriam Toews imagines whispered frantic conversations that take place between eight female leaders in the aftermath as they wrestle with whether to stay (and remain silent) or leave forever. French Exit by Patrick DeWitt DeWitt’s second book, The Sisters
Brothers, has been adapted into a Western starring Jake Gyllenhaal (out this fall). The Vancouver Island-born writer’s latest novel is just as cinematic. French Exit follows wealthy widow and possessive mother Frances (we’ve mentally cast Frances McDormand), who skips town with her son (Jason Schwartzman, perhaps?) and heads to Paris in the face of a bankruptcy scandal. Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey Pony Darlene Fontaine is the best character name ever, but that’s not the only thing to love about this quirky comingof-age story. Toronto-based Dey (and Horses Atelier co-founder) takes us to a remote northern community where Pony is searching for her missing mother, a quest that drags her into a mystery worthy of an episode of Black Mirror. All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward by Tanya Talaga In this eye-opening read, investigative journalist Talaga examines the troubling suicide rates among Canada’s indigenous youth, linking them to the residential-school system. It’s both a devastating reminder of the mistakes in our all-too-recent history and a rallying cry to support this isolated population.