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Katherena Vermette wins 2017 First Novel Award

Katherena Vermette (Tom Sandler)

Katherena Vermette (Tom Sandler)

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)