Métis author Katherena Vermette, from Treaty One territory in Winnipeg, was awarded the 2017 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, at a ceremony in Toronto on May 25. Her book The Break (House of Anansi Press) was selected for the $40,000 prize from a shortlist of five first-time Canadian novelists. The Break centres around a violent crime and how it affects the lives of a north-end Winnipeg community. The novel was previously shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and was a 2017 Canada Reads finalist.
The Break was selected by Wilfrid Laurier professor Tanis MacDonald, and authors Gurjinder Basran and Casey Plett. Along with Vermette, the finalists included:
- Catherine Cooper, White Elephant (Freehand Books)
- Kaie Kellough, Accordéon (ARP Books)
- Rebecca Rosenblum, So Much Love (McClelland & Stewart)
- Yasuko Thanh, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains (Hamish Hamilton Canada)