The Governor General's Fiction Winners

View all Award Winning Books for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 11/6/2014
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The Governor General's Literary Awards – known affectionately as “the GGs” – were first awarded in 1936. The GGs were initiated by Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan), a prolific writer himself who published more than 100 works in his lifetime. Each year, the Governor General's Literary Awards honour the best in Canadian literature. As Canada's national literary awards, the GGs represent the rich diversity of Canadian literature. Some 1,600 books are submitted each year from English and French-language publishers representing authors, translators and illustrators from across Canada, in seven categories: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Non-fiction, Children's literature – text, Children's literature – illustration and 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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1 - 30 of 30 results
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Shakespeare's Dog

A tour de force of inventive wit Shakespeare's Dog is the eccentric and high-spirited story of William Shakespeare and how he came to bed and wed Anne Hathaway.

Told from the point of view of the Bard's dog, this astonishing novel of comic bliss, hailed as a triumph of language and an amusing delight.

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The Engineer of Human Souls
The Engineer of Human Souls is a labyrinthine comic novel that investigates the journey and plight of novelist Danny Smiricky, a Czech immigrant to Canada. As the novel begins, he is a professor of American literature at a college in Toronto. Out of touch with his young students, and hounded by the Czech secret police, Danny is let loose to roam between past and present, adopting whatever identity that he chooses or has been imposed upon him by History.
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The Handmaid's Tale
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.

Like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
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The Progress of Love
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013

Alice Munro, who received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her latest collection of stories, The Love of a Good Woman, is widely acknowledged as a modern master of the short story. In this earlier collection, she demonstrates all of those strengths that have won her so many literary accolades.

A divorced woman returns to her childhood home where she confronts the memory of her parents' confounding yet deep bond. The accidental near-drowning of a child exposes the fragility of the trust between children and parents. A young man, remembering a terrifying childhood incident, wrestles with the responsibility he has always felt for his younger brother. In these and other stories Alice Munro proves once again a sensitive and compassionate chronicler of our times. Drawing us into the most intimate corners of ordinary lives, she reveals much about ourselves, our choices, and our experiences of love.
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A Dream Like Mine

Considering whether it is moral to use radical and violent solutions to stop the destruction of the environment, this dark novel portrays a succession of fights over land rights and pollution in northern Ontario. As tensions increase, a local Canadian Native man decides to follow his vision of revenge by kidnapping the manager of the paper mill and a reporter who arrives on the scene.

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Nights Below Station Street
David Adams Richards' Governor General's Award-winning novel is a powerful tale of resignation and struggle, fierce loyalties and compassion. This book is the first in Richards' acclaimed Miramichi trilogy. Set in a small mill town in northern New Brunswick, it draws us into the lives of a community of people who live there, including: Joe Walsh, isolated and strong in the face of a drinking problem; his wife, Rita, willing to believe the best about people; and their teenage daughter Adele, whose nature is rebellious and wise, and whose love for her father wars with her desire for independence. Richards' unforgettable characters are linked together in conflict, and in articulate love and understanding. Their plight as human beings is one we share.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Whale Music
Des Howell is a former rock 'n' roll star who never leaves his secluded oceanfront mansion. Naked, rich and fabulously deranged, he subsists on a steady diet of whiskey, pharmaceuticals and jelly doughnuts and occasionally works on his masterpiece, "Whale Music." One day, upon awakening from his usual drunken stupor, Des discovers on his sofa a young alien from the faraway universe of Toronto. This girl has made the trek to Des' hideaway because she believes in the "Whale Music" and she's crazy enough to think that Des can make a comeback hit with his mad magnum opus--


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Lives of the Saints
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Canadian Governor General's Award for Fiction

Set in a small, golden village nestled in folds of the Italian Apennines, The Book of Saints is a deceptively simple novel of startling power and mythic dimension. Young Vittorio Innocente is the pampered son of Cristina, a women whose husband has left Italy for work in North America. Beneath her placid surface, Cristina yearns to escape the restrictive village; and, one day, Vittorio is startled to find her in the family's stable, her ankle swelling from a snakebite. But what really happened to Cristina that day becomes the center of this tale—a story of passion and superstition beneath pastoral calm, a mother's secret life witnessed by a child. The first novel in a trilogy that follows Vittorio to adulthood, The Book of Saints is Ricci's acclaimed debut.
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Such a Long Journey
It is Bombay in 1971, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unravelling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father's ambitions for him. He is the one reasonable voice amidst the ongoing dramas of his neighbours. One day, he receives a letter from an old friend, asking him to help in what at first seems like an heroic mission. But he soon finds himself unwittingly drawn into a dangerous network of deception. Compassionate, and rich in details of character and place, this unforgettable novel charts the journey of a moral heart in a turbulent world of change.
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The English Patient
Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize–winning best seller lyrically portrays the convergence of four damaged lives in a bomb-riddled Italian villa in the last days of the war. Hana, the grieving nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the emotionally detached Indian sapper, Kip—each is haunted in different ways by the riddle of the man they know only as the English patient, a nameless burn victim who lies swathed in bandages in an upstairs room. It is this man's incandescent memories—of the bleak North African desert, of explorers' caves and Bedouin tribesmen,
of forbidden love, and of annihilating anger—that illuminate the story, and the consequences of the mysteries they reveal radiate outward in shock waves that leave all the characters forever changed.
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The Stone Diaries
In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of its original publication, Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is now available in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

One of the most successful and acclaimed novels of our time, this fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett is a subtle but affecting portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life. What transforms this seemingly ordinary tale is the richness of Daisy's vividly described inner life--from her earliest memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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A Discovery Of Strangers
A Discovery of Strangers tells of the meeting of two civilizations – the first encounter of the nomadic Dene people with Europeans – in an imaginative reconstruction of John Franklin's first map-making expedition in 1819—21 in what is now the Northwest Territories. At the heart of the novel is a love story between twenty-two-year-old midshipman Robert Hood, the Franklin expedition's artist, and a fifteen-year-old Yellowknife girl known to the British as Greenstockings. A national bestseller, published also in Germany and China, Wiebe's first novel in eleven years and his twelfth work of fiction won him his second Governor General's Award for Fiction at the age of sixty, over strong competition from Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro.

It is a story of love, murder, greed and passion in an unforgiving Arctic landscape. French-Canadian voyageurs paddle the small British expedition into the land of the Yellowknives to search for the fabled Northwest Passage. While this trip would not prove as disastrous as Franklin's third expedition, nevertheless more than half his men did not survive the harsh conditions. The long winter stopover allows for interchange between the cultures. When the son of a Lancashire clergyman and the daughter of a native elder fall in love, they devise a language of their own to cross their wordless divide. Hood will not survive to see the birth of his daughter, perishing in 1821 in an attempt to reach Greenstockings's band 450 kilometres south. Nor will the Yellowknives survive much longer: within twenty years, they will be all but wiped out by a smallpox epidemic brought by the white men.

The novel is the work of a poetic mind, written in several voices: of the British explorers, of the Tetsot'ine people – named Yellowknife by the strangers – and, most unexpected of all, of the animals that live on the Barrenlands. Wiebe climbs inside the characters, bringing them and the North to life. “Most Canadians have never seen that landscape. Yet I see it as being at the centre of our national psyche. That's the roots of our world, right there.” He began work on the novel in earnest following a canoe trip between the Coppermine River and the site of Fort Enterprize in 1988, when he was first enraptured by the landscape. The novel contains vivid images, such as stunning descriptions of caribou bursting through snow. In calling the Arctic 'A Land Beyond Words,' Wiebe admits how difficult it was to do it justice. “I think there's always a total contradiction in even trying to do such a novel,” he said in an interview, “and yet it's the very contradiction out of which any kind of artistic struggle must come. It's not even worth trying if it doesn't seem impossible.”

In researching historical sources, Wiebe found letters, earlier accounts of the region such as those of Samuel Hearne, as well as oral stories and mythology told by the Dene elders. “I take the facts, as many of the facts as history gives me, and I use them to tell the story that I believe these facts tell us beyond themselves . . . . How did it happen, why did it happen, what was going on inside people's heads while it was happening, why did they do what they did?” Franklin's book on the first expedition contained a small paragraph mentioning Greenstockings as the most beautiful girl of the Dene, and a sketch of her and her father Keskarrah drawn by Robert Hood. Wiebe also discovered a claim made years later by one of the members of the team that Greenstockings had had a child by Hood (these facts are related in his book Playing Dead: A Contemplation Concerning the Arctic). From these details, he created a powerful story of their union. “It's imagination all right, but it has to be an informed imagination.”

The Kingston Whig-Standard claimed the book “is to the North what Big Bear was to the West – an imaginative, and possibly definitive, evocation of a crucial time, place and situation.” It is part of a body of significant historical fiction by Wiebe, including The Scorched-Wood People, which tells the story of Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont and the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The third Franklin expedition has been the subject of works by Margaret Atwood and Mordecai Richler, as well as accounts such as Frozen in Time by John Geiger and forensic anthropologist Owen Beattie. A Discovery of Strangers explores the expedition Wiebe found more fascinating: that of first contact between the Europeans and the Natives, which was so damaging to the Native people in the end, and so essential to the survival of the Europeans. In his acceptance speech for the Governor General's Award, Wiebe said: “We know too little about our selves. In this enormous, beautiful land we inhabit, we seem to have no eyes to see, no ears to hear, the stories that are everywhere about us and clamouring to be told . . . . Only the stories we tell each other can create us as a true Canadian people.”
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The Roaring Girl
From “an eerily original, powerfully moving distinctive voice” (Time Out) comes a collection of funny, disturbing suburban tales that invite comparisons to Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor. Winner of Canada's Governor-General's Literary Award.
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The Englishman's Boy
Originally published in 1996, The Englishman's Boy is the first in a Guy Vanderhaeghe trilogy that includes the nationally best-selling novel The Last Crossing, with the third book due to be published next year. By far his most successful book in his native Canada, The Englishman's Boy expertly depicts an American West where greed and deception act side by side with honor and strength. In 1920s Hollywood, elusive movie studio owner Damon Ira Chance is obsessed with making pictures rooted in American history and experience, with the poetry of fact. So when he discovers that one of the most popular bit players in the Westerns is a real-life tin god—the last buffalo of the old West, Shorty McAdoo—he commissions an ambitious young screenwriter named Harry Vincent to hunt Shorty down and retell his story. Richly textured and evocative, this is an unforgettable story about power, greed, and the pull of dreams. At once an intensely original character study and a hugely entertaining page-turner, The Englishman's Boy is a gritty, resonant novel of timeless beauty and insight.
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The Underpainter
In Rochester, New York, a seventy-five-year-old artist, Austin Fraser, is creating a new series of paintings recalling the details of his life and of the lives of those individuals who have affected him--his peculiar mother, a young Canadian soldier and china painter, a First World War nurse, the well-known American painter Rockwell Kent, and Sara, a waitress from the wilderness mining settlement of Silver Islet, Ontario, who became Austin?s model and mistress. Spanning more than seven decades, from the turn of the century to the mid-seventies, The Underpainter--in range, in the sheer power of its prose, and in its brilliant depiction of landscape and the geography of imagination--is Jane Urquhart's most accomplished novel to date, with one of the most powerful climaxes in contemporary fiction.
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Forms Of Devotion
A brilliant interplay between words and images informs this collection of stories, in which devotion is explored in its many forms.
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Elizabeth and After

A touching and resonant story of a man who returns to the small town of West Gull, Ontario, to mend his family's legacy of alcohol and violence, to reconnect with his young daughter, and to reconcile himself with the spirit of his beautiful mother, killed several years earlier in a tragic accident. Elizabeth and After masterfully wraps us up in the lives of Carl and his family, and the other 683 odd residents of this snowy Canadian hamlet.

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Anil's Ghost
With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Booker Prize—winning author Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.

Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past–a story propelled by a riveting mystery. Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka's landscape and ancient civilization, Anil's Ghost is a literary spellbinder–Michael Ondaatje's most powerful novel yet.
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Clara Callan

In a small town in Canada, Clara Callan reluctantly takes leave of her sister, Nora, who is bound for New York. It's a time when the growing threat of fascism in Europe is a constant worry, and people escape from reality through radio and the movies. Meanwhile, the two sisters -- vastly different in personality, yet inextricably linked by a shared past -- try to find their places within the complex web of social expectations for young women in the 1930s.

While Nora embarks on a glamorous career as a radio-soap opera star, Clara, a strong and independent-minded woman, struggles to observe the traditional boundaries of a small and tight-knit community without relinquishing her dreams of love, freedom, and adventure. However, things aren't as simple as they appear -- Nora's letters eventually reveal life in the big city is less exotic than it seems, and the tranquil solitude of Clara's life is shattered by a series of unforeseeable events. These twists of fate require all of Clara's courage and strength, and finally put the seemingly unbreakable bond between the sisters to the test.

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Elle

A 16th-century belle turned Robinson Crusoe, a female Don Quixote with an Inuit Sancho Panza — this is the heroine of the novel that won the 2003 Governor General's Award. Elle is a lusty, subversive riff on the discovery of the New World, the moment of first contact.

Based on what might be a true story, the novel chronicles the ordeals and adventures of a young French woman marooned on the desolate Isle of Demons during Jacques Cartier's ill-fated third and last attempt to colonize Canada.

In this new readers' guide edition, Douglas Glover's carnal whirlwind of myth and story, of beauty and hilarity brings the past violently and unexpectedly into the present. His well-known scatological realism, exuberant violence, and dark, unsettling humour give his unique version of history a thoroughly modern chill.

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A Complicated Kindness
In this stunning coming-of-age novel, award-winner Miriam Toews balances grief and hope in the voice of a witty, beleaguered teenager whose family is shattered by fundamentalist Christianity
"Half of our family, the better-looking half, is missing," Nomi Nickel tells us at the beginning of A Complicated Kindness. Left alone with her sad, peculiar father, her days are spent piecing together why her mother and sister have disappeared and contemplating her inevitable career at Happy Family Farms, a chicken slaughterhouse on the outskirts of East Village. Not the East Village in New York City where Nomi would prefer to live, but an oppressive town founded by Mennonites on the cold, flat plains of Manitoba, Canada.

This darkly funny novel is the world according to the unforgettable Nomi, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion and in the shattered remains of a family it destroyed. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of an eccentric, loving family that falls apart as each member lands on a collision course with the only community any of them have ever known. A work of fierce humor and tragedy by a writer who has taken the American market by storm, this searing, tender, comic testament to family love will break your heart.
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A Perfect Night to Go to China

Winner of the 2005 Governor General's Award for Fiction

This astonishing novel - unlike anything Gilmour has ever written before - begins with every parent's worst nightmare: the disappearance of a child. A father makes a casual error of judgement one evening and leaves his six-year-old son alone for fifteen minutes. When he returns the child is gone and three lives are changed forever. Has the boy been kidnapped? Spirited out of the country? Is he dead?

The story that unfolds is told by the novel's narrator, a television host named Roman, who searches for his son through the city and through the underworld of dreams and tries to bring him back. Pursued by an unshakeable conviction that his son is speaking directly to him, Roman begins to enter a haunting relationship with the missing child and his own conscience. In the meantime, his behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and he is rejected by his grieving and angry wife, eventually fired from his job, and shadowed by a persistent policeman who thinks Roman is hiding the child. Written in the clear, elegant prose Gilmour is known for, A Perfect Night to Go to China is a completely absorbing and original work of fiction. It sets up a harrowing premise and doesn't let up until the last surprising page.

release date: Aug 28, 2007
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The Law of Dreams
Driven from the only home he has known during Ireland's Great Hunger of 1847, Fergus O'Brien makes the harrowing journey from County Clare to America, traveling with bold girls, pearl boys, navvies, and highwaymen. Along the way, Fergus meets his three passionate loves–Phoebe, Luke, and Molly–vivid, unforgettable characters, fresh and willful.

Based on Peter Behrens's own family history, The Law of Dreams is lyrical, emotional, and thoroughly extraordinary–a searing tale of ardent struggle and ultimate perseverance.
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Divisadero
From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time. In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is shattered by an incident of violence that sets fire to the rest of their lives. Divisadero takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France. As the narrative moves back and forth through time and place, we find each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.
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The Origin of Species
Winner of the 2008 Governor General's Award for Fiction

Montreal during the turbulent mid-1980s: Chernobyl has set Geiger counters thrumming across the globe, HIV/AIDS is cutting a deadly swath through the gay population worldwide, and locally, tempers are flaring over the recent codification of French as the official language of Quebec. Hiding out in a seedy apartment near campus, Alex Fratarcangeli (“Don't worry. . . . I can't even pronounce it myself”), an awkward, thirty-something grad student, is plagued by the sensation that his entire life is a fraud. Scarred by a distant father and a dangerous relationship with his ex Liz, and consumed by a floundering dissertation linking Darwin's theory of evolution with the history of human narrative, Alex has come to view love and other human emotions as “evolutionary surplus, haphazard neural responses that nature had latched onto for its own insidious purposes.” When Alex receives a letter from Ingrid, the beautiful woman he knew years ago in Sweden, notifying him of the existence of his five-year-old son, he is gripped by a paralytic terror. Whenever Alex's thoughts grow darkest, he recalls Desmond, the British professor with dubious credentials whom he met years ago in the Galapagos. Treacherous and despicable, wearing his ignominy like his rumpled jacket, Desmond nonetheless caught Alex in his thrall and led him to some life-altering truths during their weeks exploring Darwin's islands together. It is only now that Alex can begin to comprehend these unlikely life lessons, and see a glimmer of hope shining through what he had thought was meaninglessness.
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The Mistress of Nothing
The American debut of an award-winning novel about a lady's maid's awakening as she journeys from the confines of Victorian England to the uncharted far reaches of Egypt's Nile Valley

When Lady Duff Gordon, paragon of London society, departs for the hot, dry climate of Egypt to seek relief from her debilitating tuberculosis, her lady's maid, Sally, doesn't hesitate to leave the only world she has known in order to remain at her mistress's side. As Sally gets farther and farther from home, she experiences freedoms she has never known—forgoing corsets and wearing native dress, learning Arabic, and having her first taste of romance.

But freedom is a luxury that a lady's maid can ill afford, and when Sally's newfound passion for life causes her to forget what she is entitled to, she is brutally reminded she is mistress of nothing. Ultimately she must choose her master and a way back home—or a way to an unknown future.

Based on the real lives of Lady Duff Gordon and her maid, The Mistress of Nothing is a lush, erotic, and compelling story about the power of race, class, and love

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Cool Water

Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-of-an-eye kind of town -- the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people -- and it's easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets. Situated on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills, Juliet and its inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century -- old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead.

But the heart of the town beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the foundling who now owns the farm his adoptive family left him; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning a fairytale wedding; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for one another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. Their stories bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid and enduring life.

This wonderfully entertaining, witty and deeply felt novel brims with forgiveness as its flawed people stumble towards the future.

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The Sisters Brothers

“A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir…Honestly, I can't recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths.”
—David Wroblewski, New York Times bestselling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

“A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain…a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.”
—Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

The Sisters Brothers is dark, dark, and funny, both ha ha and strange…and you'll love the characters you meet along the way.”
—Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Patrick deWitt, a young writer whose “stop-you-in-your-tracks writing has snuck up on the world” (Los Angeles Times), brings us The Sisters Brothers, a darkly comic, outrageously inventive novel that offers readers a decidedly off-center view of the Wild, Wild West.  Set against the back-drop of the great California Gold Rush, this odd and wonderful tour de force at once honors and reshapes the traditional western while chronicling the picaresque misadventures of two hired guns, the fabled Sisters brothers. The most original western since the Coen Brothers re-interpreted True Grit—you've never met anyone quite like The Sisters Brothers.

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The Purchase

Winner of Canada's 2012 Governor General's Award for Fiction
 
In this provocative and starkly beautiful historical novel, a Quaker family moves from Pennsylvania to the Virginia frontier, where slaves are the only available workers and where the family's values and beliefs are sorely tested.
 
In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, recently widowed and shunned by his fellow Quakers when he marries his young servant girl to help with his five small children, moves his shaken family down the Wilderness Road to the Virginia/Kentucky border. Although determined to hold on to his Quaker ways, and despite his most dearly held belief that slavery is a sin, Daniel becomes the owner of a young boy named Onesimus, setting in motion a twisted chain of events that will lead to tragedy and murder, forever changing his children's lives and driving the book to an unexpected conclusion.
 
A powerful novel of sacrifice and redemption set in a tiny community on the edge of the frontier, this spellbinding narrative unfolds around Daniel's struggle to maintain his faith; his young wife, Ruth, who must find her own way; and Mary, the eldest child, who is bound to a runaway slave by a terrible secret. Darkly evocative, The Purchase is as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life. Its memorable characters, drawn with compassion and depth, are compellingly human, with lives that bring light to matters of loyalty and conscience.

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