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Michael Kaan’s THE WATER BEETLES Shortlisted for Three Manitoba Book Awards

Winnipeg author Michael Kaan has been shortlisted for three honours at this year’s Manitoba Book Awards, announced by the Manitoba Writers Guild on Tuesday, June 5, 2018: the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award.

First published in April 2017, Michael Kaan’s The Water Beetles is “a literary high wire act” (Toronto Star) set in China following the Japanese invasion. Loosely based on the diaries and stories of the author’s father, this mesmerizing tale vividly captures the horror of war through the eyes of a child with unsettling and unerring grace. The Georgia Straight has described it as “a work of lasting power.”

The novel won the 2018 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Fiction, and was named a “Best Book of 2017” by National Post and a Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended Historical Novel of 2017.

The novel was acquired and edited by Goose Lane’s fiction editor Bethany Gibson. 

Presented by the Manitoba Writers' Guild, in collaboration with the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, the Manitoba Book Awards have gone by many names, including the Manitoba Literary Awards and Brave New Words, but have always celebrated literary excellence in Manitoban writing and publishing.

Winners will be announced at the Manitoba Book Awards Gala in Winnipeg on Friday, June 15.

The Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Grandmother, Laughing by Armin Wiebe, published by Turnstone Press

Once More with Feeling by Méira Cook, published by House of Anansi Press

The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan, published by Goose Lane Editions

Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

Astana: Architecture, Myth, and Destiny by Frank Albo, published by Les Éditions des Plaines/Vidacom

Portraits of the North by Gerald Kuehl, published by Les Éditions des Plaines/Vidacom

Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists by Margo Goodhand, published by Fernwood Publishing

The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan, published by Goose Lane Editions

McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award               

Once More with Feeling by Méira Cook, published by House of Anansi Press

Portraits of the North by Gerald Kuehl, published by Les Éditions des Plaines/Vidacom

Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists by Margo Goodhand, published by Fernwood Publishing

Snacks: A Canadian Food History by Janis Thiessen, published by University of Manitoba Press

The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan, published by Goose Lane Editions

About Michael Kaan
Michael Kaan was born in Winnipeg, the second child of a father from Hong Kong and a Canadian mother. He completed a degree in English from the University of Manitoba, later completing an MBA in Health Economics from the same institution. He has worked as a healthcare administrator since 2000, primarily in mental health and health research. He currently manages a mental health clinic. His father died in 2006, and Michael came into possession of his memoirs shortly thereafter. The Water Beetles is his first novel.

To learn more about the book, click here.

Association of Manitoba Book Publishers Awards Books Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book Literary News Manitoba Manitoba Book Awards Manitoba Writers' Guild Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award Michael Kaan The Water Beetles

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