For an exclusive interview with the author, click here.
Jocelyn Parr’s celebrated novel, Uncertain Weights and Measures, has received yet another award nomination: the International Dublin Literary Award. The winner of the QWF Concordia University First Book Prize, shortlisted for the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, Jocelyn Parr’s powerhouse novel begins with a love story set in Moscow in 1921, when Tatiana and Sasha meet in a bookstore the night it is bombed. Thus begins a passionate affair of the head and the heart.
Tatiana is a scientist who believes in the link between scientific progress and revolution; Sasha, an artist, whose belief in the revolution is soon shattered by the marginalization of art in post-revolutionary Russia. In this timely exploration of the lines between idealism and pragmatism, Tatiana and Sasha find themselves torn between their optimistic ideals and an ascendant totalitarianism that threatens to demolish everything they hold dear.
When contacted about the nomination, Parr said, “I’m thrilled and grateful to have been nominated by librarians who know books better than anyone.” Goose Lane’s publisher, Susanne Alexander, describes the book as one of her favourite novels of the last year. Says Alexander, “There’s no doubt that Uncertain Weights and Measures is a heady novel. Set in post-Revolution Russia when belief in a higher purpose was everything, this powerful story of love and politics vibrates with the frisson of real-life events.” She hopes the nomination will lead readers to pick up a copy and “lose themselves in this mesmerizing tale.”
Jocelyn Parr was born in New Zealand, but grew up on Canada's West Coast. She now lives in Montreal, where she teaches history at Dawson College. Uncertain Weights and Measures is her first novel.
Uncertain Weights and Measures was nominated for the Dublin International Literary Award by the Saint John Public Library. Ten other Canadian novels have been longlisted for $150,000 prize, including Brother by David Chariandy; Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson; Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy; Next Year For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson; The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning; The Last Beothuk by Gary Collins; First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnston; All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai; Lost in September by Kathleen Winter, and Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang.