2016 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist
House of Anansi
"Katherena Vermette’s poignant novel, set in Winnipeg’s North End, opens with a violent crime that becomes the backdrop for a story of great depth and compassion.
This masterfully written narrative shifts among the intergenerational voices of the women of one extended Indigenous family. The Break is a powerful, persuasive novel about the strength and love that bind these women to each other and to the men in their lives. The traditions and wisdom of a community are honoured, as is the exquisite individual humanity of each character. Although this is a novel of social importance, it transcends politics, taking the reader on a journey to the heart of what it means for one person to care about another, survive trauma, and endure."
- 2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla
About the Book
In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.
About the Author
Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, North End Love Songs won the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her literary work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, and she recently completed work on a short documentary, this river, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The Break is her first novel. She is a finalist for this year’s Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction.