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Sharon Bala’s The Boat People, Omar El Akkad’s American War make shortlist for Canada’s First Novel Award

Sharon Bala

Sharon Bala (Nadra Ginting)

The Walrus Foundation and Amazon Canada have announced the six shortlisted books for the 42nd annual First Novel Award. The $40,000 grand prize will be presented at a gala in Toronto on May 22.

The 2018 shortlist:

  • The Boat People, by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart)
  • The Bone Mother, by David Demchuk (ChiZine Publications)
  • American War, by Omar El Akkad (M&S)
  • The Water Beetles, by Michael Kaan (Goose Lane Editions)
  • The Black Peacock, by Rachel Manley (Cormorant Books)
  • Dazzle Patterns, by Alison Watt (Freehand Books)

The winner will be chosen by judges Irene Gammel, Ryerson University’s Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture; The Bleeds author Dimitri Nasrallah; and journalist and editor Donna Bailey Nurse.

The panel will also select the winner of the inaugural Youth Author Award, a $5,000 prize for the best short story under 3,000 words submitted by an author ages 13 to 17.