THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE AND YIDDISH FOR PIRATES LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

It is with great joy that we announce that Zoe Whittall’s THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE (House of Anansi) and Gary Barwin’s YIDDISH FOR PIRATES (Random House Canada) have been longlisted for this year’s prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize – two of 12 longlisted titles! Each year The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to acknowledge the best in Canadian fiction. An esteemed five-member panel selected this longlist from 161 submitted novels, they say “The quality and depth of Canadian fiction made it challenging to select the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.”

WZBestPeoplecovTHE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall – George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth and the meaning of       happiness through the lend of all-American family on the brink of collapse.

Barw_Yiddish_comp-r6-1YIDDISH FOR PIRATES by Gary Barwin is a brilliant novel filled with Jewish takes on classic pirate tales – fights, prison escapes, and exploits on the high seas – but it’s also a tender love story. Rich with puns, colourful language, post-colonial satire and Kabbalistic hijinks, YIDDISH FOR PIRATES is also a compelling examination of mortality, memory, identity and persecution, from one of this country’s most talented writers.

The winner will be announced on November 7th, 2016. For venue and ticket information, please visit: Scotiabankgillerprize.ca

For more information on The Scotiabank Giller Prize please visit: Scotiabankgillerprize.ca/longlist

Congratulations to Zoe Whittall and Gary Barwin, as well as the other longlisted authors!

McClelland & Stewart and Doubleday U.S. Make Joint Pre-empt for First Novel The Boat People by Sharon Bala

BalaSbwToronto, March 23, 2016—Melissa Danaczko of Doubleday (New York) and Anita Chong of McClelland & Stewart (Toronto), have jointly acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to THE BOAT PEOPLE, a debut novel by Sharon Bala. The book was purchased on a pre-empt, for publication in January 2018. The deal was arranged by Stephanie Sinclair.

Says Danaczko: “THE BOAT PEOPLE is an extraordinary novel about a group of Sri Lankan refugees trying to navigate a byzantine immigration system. Bala is a vivid, compassionate writer, immediately pulling you into the mindset of not only the asylum-seekers from a war-torn country but also those whose job it is to decide their fate. A stunning debut that is at once intimate, urgent and universal in the questions it raises.”

Upon the acquisition, Anita Chong added: “Fiction has the power to create bridges of empathy and understanding, and this is what Sharon Bala has done so powerfully in THE BOAT PEOPLE, by illuminating the universal and deeply human aspects of the immigrant and refugee experience in a way that feels both fresh and urgent. From the bones of a little-known, real-life incident, Bala has crafted a beautiful and high-stakes story that asks difficult but necessary questions—questions that will only become increasingly relevant as the world-wide refugee crisis continues. I devoured this novel, and I know readers will do the same.”

The manuscript for Bala’s novel won the Percy Janes First Novel Award (May 2015) and was short listed for the Fresh Fish Award (October 2015), and has already begun to catch the eye of other writers: “THE BOAT PEOPLE is full of drama and character, sharp bold sentences and movement of all sorts, global and interior,” says bestselling author Lisa Moore (Caught and February). This is “gorgeous writing, compassionate and urgent.”

THE BOAT PEOPLE focuses on thirty-five-year-old Mahindan, who has survived the harrowing experiences of civil war, a prison camp, and a perilous ocean voyage from Sri Lanka. When the rusty cargo ship carrying him and 500 fellow refugees reaches safe Canadian shores, he thinks the struggle is finally over. But in reality, his journey has only begun. Set in Vancouver and Sri Lanka, THE BOAT PEOPLE follows Mahindan and his six-year-old son as they are separated, imprisoned, and forced to navigate the morass of the refugee system. Inspired by real life events, THE BOAT PEOPLE is a timely novel about identity and belonging, family secrets and loss, and the rift that can sometimes form between immigrant parents and their third culture children. It is an important contemporary novel that invites us to explore what people leaving everything they know to become strangers in a strange land are going through, and provokes a more compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Sinclair, 416.488.9214stephanie@transatlanticagency.com