2023 WinnerAtwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for In The Upper Country
In this exceptional debut, Kai Thomas deftly and compassionately braids deeply engrossing stories within stories that explore a little-known aspect of Canadian history. In the Upper Country is a mesmerizing, lyrical testament to the power of storytelling, as this is among the protagonists’ tools for survival in a harsh reality rife with violence and dehumanization. Thomas immerses us in the novel’s compelling landscape where, despite an honest depiction of the effects and consequences of enslavement for Black and Indigenous peoples in Canada, hope remains palpable.