For one week in April, we are graced with the presence of extraordinary authors from all over Canada. You must wonder, what are they up to now?

Gary Barwin, who has been a part of the gritLIT festival a total of four times, is having a fantastic year. He was a finalist for two major literary awards, the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Prize, both for his book Yiddish for Pirates. Barwin’s first reading of his famous novel was at gritLIT 2016.

Our friend Emma Donoghue has also been recognized for her literary talent; she is nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her book The Wonder. Described as “a thrilling domestic psychodrama” by The Guardian, The Wonder is a must read.

2013 gritLIT reader Madeliene Thien has also had an amazing year!. Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing just won both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and The Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and it was a finalist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. The novel tells the story of a young girl and her mother who welcome a Chinese refugee into their home.

Steven Heighton read his book Afterlands at gritLIT 2003. He is another winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his book The Waking Comes Late. This philosophical book of poetry should be on everyone’s book bucket list.

Michael Helm’s novel After James has made the shortlist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The Globe and Mail describes Helm’s novel as “-entertaining, apocalyptic and complex”. As always, we suggest you give it a read.

And, finally, two-time gritLIT presenter Cordelia Strube has just won the Toronto Book Award for her novel On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light.

Congratulations to all of our gritLIT authors on their well-deserved success!


-Kenzy Barry, gritLIT co-op student


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