Amazon Canada and The Walrus have announced the nominees for the 42nd annual First Novel Award, which celebrates the remarkable achievements of first-time Canadian novelists. This year's finalists will each receive over $4,000 in cash and prizes, and the winner will receive additional prizes totalling over $40,000. Among the list of finalists is Michael Kaan’s The Water Beetles, published by Goose Lane Editions. The novel was acquired and edited by Goose Lane’s fiction editor Bethany Gibson.
First published in April 2017, 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 was named a “Best Book of 2017” by National Post and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Fiction.
Michael Kaan will be reading from his novel as part of the Toronto Public Library’s eh List Writer Series on Tue. May 15 (Locke Branch), and Thu. May 17 (Agincourt Branch). To learn more about these events, click here.
Other writers whose books appear on the shortlist for the fiction award include Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People (McClelland & Stewart), David Demchuk, author of The Bone Mother (ChiZine Publications), Omar El Akkad, author of American War (McClelland & Stewart), Rachel Manley, author of The Black Peacock (Cormorant Books), and Alison Watt, author of Dazzle Patterns (Freehand Books).
The winner will be announced at the annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award ceremony on Tuesday, May 22, at the Toronto Reference Library.
About the Author
Michael Kaan was born in Winnipeg, the second child of a father from Hong Kong and a Canadian mother. The Water Beetles is his first novel.
To learn more, click here.