Monday, March 8, 2010

Amazon.ca First Novel Award Nomination

The finalists for the 34th annual $7 500 Amazon.ca First Novel Award have been annnounced and it's no suprise that Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean, winner of the Roger Writer's Trust Prize and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller last year, is one of the nominees. Congratulations to all of the finalists and good luck. The winner will be announced in April



Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
A delightfully offbeat story that features an opiniated tortoise and an IQ-challenged narrator who find themselves in the middle of a life-changing mystery.







Goya's Dog by Damian Tarnopolsky

In London, Edward Dacres, takes advantage of a case of mistaken identity and joins a tour of artist and poets who have been dispatched to bring culture to the colonies just as war breaks out in Europe. Tempted by a brass magnate's assertion that Toronto holds many opportunities for a portrait painter, and assuming that his Englishness will lead to commissions there, Dacres jumps off a moving train on its way to Windsor and settles in Ontario's capital city. As success eludes him and he spirals downward, a chance encounter with the brass magnate's daughter pierces his armour of bravado and self-destruction. Goya's Dog is a compelling story of an artist at war with himself.


Daniel O'Thunder by Ian Weir

Daniel O'Thunder, a troubled but charismatic prize fighter turned evangelist, runs a safe house for those in need. But in the dark streets an ancien evil is stirring, throwing into peril the lives of the city's most vulnerable souls. O'Thunder, no longer young but still wielding a right fist dubbed "The Hammer of Heaven", returns to the ring to start training for his greatest fight yet - with the Devil himself.

Daniel O'Thunder is a novel of amazing wealth of character and variety of voice. Comedy bumps up against cruelty, tragedy against farce, inhumanity against love - a remarkable debut that is hilarious, harrowing and deeply moving.



The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
What would it have been like to sit at the feet of the legendary philosopher Aristotle? Even more intriguing, what would it have been like to witness Aristotle instructing the most famous of his pupils, the young Alexander the Great?

In her first novel
, acclaimed fiction writer Annabel Lyon boldly imagines one of history's most intriguing relationships and the war at its heart between ideas and action as a way of knowing the world.

Exploring a fabled time and place, Annabel Lyon tells her story, breathtakingly, in the earthy, frank, and perceptive voice of Aristotle himself. With sensual and muscular prose, she explores how Aristotles's genius touched the boy who would conquer the known world. And she reveals how we still live with the ghosts of both men.

(This is a book I have been dying to read for quite a while now. An amazing debut novel!!!)




Diary of Interrupted Days by Dragan Todorovic
Todorovic's "The Book of Revenge" won The Nereus Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize in 2007 so it is no surprise that his novel would be nominated for several awards. Diary of Interrupted Days has also been nominated for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize in the Caribbean and Canada Best First Book Category. Congratulations and good luck Mr. Todorovic. I loved 'The Book of Revenge'.

Diary of Interrupted Days is playful, blazingly intelligent, occasionally erotic and ultimately tragic, unfurling from the cliffhanger scene that opens the book: a lone exile, returning to Belgrade for the first time since he fled to
Canada in the mid-90s, is stranded on the only bridge in the city that hasn't been destroyed by NATO bombers as air raid sirens sound. He should be focused on getting off the bridge, but he seems unable to calculate the risk...

The war that dismembered his country still haunts
him, but what has him frozen is that the disruptions of war allowed him to steal happiness for himself from his best friend, with the likelihood that he would never be caught. But lies, even artful ones told by someone adept at incinerating the past, have a way of catching up to you. As the man on the bridge is about to find out.





No Place Strange by Diana Fitzgerald Bryden
It's 1986, and Lydia Devlin - a nice Jewish girl - meets Farid Salibi - a nice Lebanese boy - while on vacation in Greece. Theirs is a sun-soaked, carefree romance, until Farid's cousin Mouna, comes to visit, and the drama of their real lives brings them crashing back to earth. Neither of the lovers knows what Mouna knows: that the two were connected long before they ever laid eyes on each other. Lydia's father was a British journalist killed in a rocket attack while covering the conflict in Beirut in the early 1970s. Farid's and Mouna's uncle was Lydia's father's translator, also killed int he attack. Much speculation surrounds the circumstances of their deaths, specifically the involvement of a notorious female Palestinian terrorist names Rafa Ahmed and the nature of the relationship between Rafa and Lydia's father. Mouna, a child at the time of her uncle's death, has placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Lydia's father. No Place Strange is a complex and ambitious debut novel that succeeds on many levels.




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