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Jennifer Quist on the Family Saga

Book Cover Sistering

Jennifer Quist's novel, Sistering, was just published, and it's already buzzing with great reviews and suggestions that it's a contender for the Leacock Award for Humour. This the second novel by Quist, whose first book, which won her an Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Emerging Artist Award, was longlisted for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for a 2013 Whitney Award. Sistering is the story of five admirable but slightly deranged sisters, each with her own peculiar morbid fascinations, and while it's funny—"a romp," as the cover says—it's also part a genre less inclined toward hilarity: the family saga.

In this guest post, Quist breaks down what the family saga is all about. We've also made a list of some of our favourites here


Complaining about being sorted into categories by booksellers, libraries, and anyone else has become the trite stuff of clunky interviews where authors desperately explain how their books are so much more than their labels. Categories are hated but necessary. Little orients an idly-browsing reader to a new literary find like a good label. That’s a good label—all categories are not equally meaningful. Some may be too vast and diverse to be useful. For instance, what, exactly, is a "family s …

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