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Giller Prize Special: The Chat with Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

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The Giller Prize jury states, “It is a delightful gift to find a book you feel fortunate to have read, akin to discovering a treasure. That is the case with The Son of the House. The novel explores issues of patriarchy and classism, themes of friendship and loss through the lenses of two very different yet unexpectedly connected women in Nigeria. Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia writes a modern novel with fairytale elements and prose that punches you in the gut, leaving you wonderfully stunned by the time the book is finished.”

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic, and writer. She holds a doctorate in law from Dalhousie University and works in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children. Cheluchi divides her time between Lagos and Halifax.

Don't miss your chance to win one of three copies of THE SON OF THE HOUSE on our giveaways page*

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What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a finalist for this year’s Giller Prize?

After I had been overcome, blown over, and it had begun to sink a bit, I tried to go back to work, to an assignment I had been working on. But I found I couldn’t focus, so I gave myself permission to take the rest of the day off, not a very usual occurrence!

The Son of the House tells the stor …

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Green and White Threads: Nigerian-Canadian Writers

From sea to sea, Canadian communities offer immigrants welcoming inclusive spaces. While I started writing as a preteen, I became a published author after our family moved to Canada 17 years ago. As I look forward to the September publication of my seventh book, A Good Name, I remain thankful for the many opportunities this land bestows on newcomers. 

Writers of Nigerian descent are world-renowned for the breadth and vibrancy of their art. I am proud of this heritage. Therefore, I am honoured to shine a spotlight on the following writers whose works add invaluable green and white threads to the grand tapestry of Canadian literature. 

*****

Butter Honey Pig Bread, by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Ekwuyasi’s debut novel is a story about choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family.

Longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, this novel is a reader’s treat. I’ve always been a fa …

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Launchpad: Speechless, by Anne Simpson

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This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today we're launching the novel Speechless, by Anne Simpson, of which Alexander Macleod (Light Lifting) writes, "A global narrative about gender and race, about words and actions and reactions, with tough female characters who will not back down and instead stand together against injustice. Simpson is a beautiful writer and this is a bold, brave book."

*****

The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

Speechless is the story of a young Canadian journalist and a Nigerian teenager whose lives inte …

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