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Fighting For a Hand to Hold: An Anti-Colonial Reading List

The QWF Literary Awards celebrate the best books and plays by English-language writers, playwrights, and translators in Quebec, as well as those translating English works from Quebec into French. Each award comes with a purse of $3,000.

For more information about the Awards and to see Giller Prize-winning author Sean Michaels announce all the finalists, check out the Gala page on our website.

Fighting for a Hand to Hold won The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction and The Concordia University First Book Prize at the 2021 Awards Gala.

Learn more about the book at https://fightingforahandtohold.ca

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Fighting for a Hand to Hold: Confronting Medical Colonialism against Indigenous Children in Canada (foreword by Cindy Blackstock, afterword by Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel) uses the #aHand2Hold campaign as a case study of contemporary medical colonialism in Quebec, and demonstrates that inequalities in health care follow fault lines of societal injustices.

The campaign confronted Évacuations aéromédicales du Québec (ÉVAQ), the provincially run medical evacuation airlift service, and its long-standing practice of separating Indigenous children from their families in northern Quebec. The book also contextualizes this now-defunct practice by exposing the Canadian medic …

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Book Beyond the Poem—Poem Beyond the Book

Book Cover Hell Light Flesh

The QWF Literary Awards celebrate the best books and plays by English-language writers, playwrights, and translators in Quebec, as well as those translating English works from Quebec into French. Each award comes with a purse of $3,000.

For more information about the Awards and to see Giller Prize-winning author Sean Michaels announce all the finalists, check out the Gala page on our website.

Hell Light Flesh, by Klara du Plessis, is a finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

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This list foregrounds the unravelling of the poem as a discreet entity and models expansion. Through modes of formal lengthening, seriality, interdisciplinarity or disciplinary coexistence, these poets exceed the tradition of book as self-contained object, and break print materiality to cross over into other genres and practices. While the work of these authors feels central to my personal reading practice, I am keenly aware of the limitations of inclusion—the other ones, the unread ones, the ones from across borders.

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An Autobiography of the Autobiography of Reading, …

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Thinking Books, Not Tidy Books

The QWF Literary Awards celebrate the best books and plays by English-language writers, playwrights, and translators in Quebec, as well as those translating English works from Quebec into French. Each award comes with a purse of $3,000.

For more information about the Awards and to see Giller Prize-winning author Sean Michaels announce all the finalists, check out the Gala page on our website.

Jessie Jones' The Fool is a finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

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I read many of these books while I was writing and editing The Fool. They investigate not only an object, character, or idea, but the ambient area around it, drawing the eye to details it might normally pass over, or causing you to sit with a thought that you might normally ignore or suppress. These are not tidy books, they are thinking books, and they’ve greatly expanded my understanding of what writing can do.

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Index Cards, by Moyra Davey

Whether in her visual art or her writing (or some vibrant combination of the two), Moyra Davey works toward ideas in the most fascinating way possi …

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Go Deeper With the Big Books of 2013

Another day, another lit awards list. Or at least that's how it seems at this time of year. Here at 49th Shelf, we're pretty happy with these lists, short and long, which put the spotlight on books and writers we've been looking out for lately. The following lists and posts will take you deeper inside some of the biggest books of the year. 

Journey With No Maps

Sandra Djwa has been nominated for the Governor-General's Award for Non-Fiction for her biography of P.K. Page, A Journey With No Maps. Check out her interview from February about the life of Page and her own work as biographer

 

Book Cover The Hungry Ghosts

Shyam Selvadurai's The Hungry Ghosts is nominated for the Governor-General's Award for Fiction, and also made an appearance on our Canadian Immigrant Writers list this summer. 

 

We talked to Alan Smutylo about travel painting and his book The Memory of Water last spring, before …

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