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How a Woman Becomes a Lake
By (author): Marjorie Celona
9780735235823 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Mar 03, 2020
$24.95 CAD
Forthcoming 6.25 x 8.94 x 0.7 in 272 pages Penguin Canada Hamish Hamilton
From the Giller-nominated author of Y comes a suspenseful novel about the dark corners of a small town

It’s New Year’s Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.

But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she’s found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo’s sons see Vera? What are they hiding from the police? And why are they so scared of their own father?

In the months ahead, Vera’s absence sets off a chain of reverberating events in Whale Bay. Her apathetic husband succumbs to grief. Leo heads south and remarries. And the cop investigating the case falls for Leo’s ex-wife but finds himself slipping further away from the truth.

Told from shifting perspectives, How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about childhood, familial bonds, new beginnings, and costly mistakes. A literary novel with the pull and pace of a thriller, told in taut illuminating prose, it asks, what do you do when the people who are supposed to love you the most fail?

Publication History: Original Trade Paperback

WIDESPREAD ACCLAIM: Marjorie’s debut Y was longlisted for the Giller Prize and the Amazon First Novel Award. It was a national bestseller (15,451 copies sold in Canada) and also received rave reviews from American publications, including O Magazine.

IN-HOUSE FAVOURITE: Staff at Penguin Canada fell in love with Marjorie’s debut and championed it to great success.

COMMERCIAL CROSSOVER: With a suspenseful plot involving a missing woman and told from multiple points of view, Marjorie’s follow-up to Y will appeal to both literary and commercial readers.

INTERNATIONAL PARTNER: We are publishing simultaneously with Virago in the UK.

OTPB: We are publishing in original trade and will produce a reader’s guide.

MARJORIE CELONA’s debut novel, Y, won France’s Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Héroïne and was nominated for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Marjorie’s work has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Southern Review, Harvard Review, The Sunday Times, and elsewhere. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Marjorie teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Oregon.

Author Residence: Cincinnati

Author Hometown: Vancouver Island

Marketing: Early Goodreads contests

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Publicity: Select feature coverage in outlets like The Globe and Mail, Victoria Times Colonist, the Toronto Star, and CBC Books

Select review coverage in outlets like the Toronto Star and Chatelaine

Select blogger coverage

Limited national radio interviews like CBC The Next Chapter and CBC NXNW

On pub events in Toronto and Victoria

Fall festival tour

Praise for Y:

“A meditation on loss, identity, and family, Y showcases a tenacious young writer as she schools us in compassion and ultimately cleans house.” --O Magazine

“Filled with grace and compassion.”—Heather O’Neill

“I love ambition in a novel. I love humour, audacity, perseverance, craft. And I am deeply grateful when it gets exquisitely blended in a brand new voice. Y is an evocative look into what makes a family, and what makes a home, and how they are undeniably helixed together.”—Colum McCann

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