Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2006.
Few events in history have had the tragic and far-reaching consequences of Ireland’s Great Potato Famine. Hundreds of stories have drawn their inspiration from those dark days, but rarely has a work of fiction achieved the beauty of Behrens’s novel.
After witnessing the deaths of his family during the blight, it seems inevitable that Fergus, too, will follow them into that place of darkness. Yet for the first time, he ventures beyond the family farm and leaves Ireland for Liverpool, eventyally embarking on a dangerous Atlantic voyage to America. No ocean crossing, however, could be more dramatic than the journey Fergus makes from innocence to experience. His search for a new life will introduce him to a world unimaginable to the son of an Irish tenant farmer. Prostitutes and hustlers, gentlemen and thieves—these are the members of Fergus’ new family. But it is out of…[more]
In Rawi Hage’s astonishing and unforgettable novel, a famous quote by Camus becomes a touchstone for two young men caught in Lebanon’s civil war. Bassam and George are childhood best friends who have grown to adulthood in wartorn Beirut. Now they must choose their futures: to stay in the city and consolidate power through crime; or to go into exile abroad, alienated from the only existence they have known. Bassam chooses one path: Obsessed with leaving Beirut, he embarks on a series of petty crimes to finance his departure. Meanwhile, George builds his power in the underworld of the city and embraces a life of military service, crime for profit, killing, and drugs.
Told in the voice of Bassam, De Niro’s Game is a beautiful, explosive portrait of a contemporary young man shaped by a lifelong experience of war. …[more]
Twelve narratives, twelve narrators, twelve genres and twelve fictional worlds collide to spectacular effect in Paul Glennon’s The Dodecahedron, or a Frame for Frames. The second book from the author of How Did You Sleep? takes his adventures in short fiction to strange new regions, where professional polygamists, heretical alcoholics and hallucinating arctic explorers find themselves sharing plot points, character traits and dialogue.
At turns philosophical and farcical, The Dodecahedron makes for intriguing, compelling reading. Each of the book’s twelve chapters has its own style and apparent fictional autonomy, but every narrative finds itself corroborated or undermined by the next. Messages found in bottles, computer-generated dialogues and the lamentations of the world’s last genie shouldn’t have much in common, but their paths constantly intersect in The Dodecahedron, creating networks of allusions and contradictions. The Dodecahedron revels in the art of story making and proves once and for all that the geometry of the dodecahedron is a rich source of comic fiction.
Trevor Cole’s bestselling debut novel garnered rave reviews and comparisons to Truman Capote and Kingsley Amis. Now the Governor General’s Award finalist is back with The Fearsome Particles, a brilliantly observed comic tragedy about the widening cracks in a family’s picture-perfect veneer.
Gerald Woodlore, a window screen executive, wakes one morning to find, to his utter dismay, that he has reached the limits of what he can control. The company he works for is rapidly losing market share and a junior assistant seems to be the only one with an idea how to fix it. His wife, Vicki, a luxury real-estate dresser, appears to be bending under the pressures of constructing an image of perfect happiness both at work and at home. But most worrying of all is Gerald and Vicki’s twenty-year-old son, Kyle, who quit school to volunteer with the military’s civilian support staff in Afghanistan. Now he has returned early and retreated…[more]