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The Strangers
By (author): Katherena Vermette
Katherena Vermette

Imprint:

Hamish Hamilton

ISBN:

9780735239616

Product Form:

Hardcover
Hardcover
English

Audience:

General Trade
Sep 28, 2021
$29.95 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

9.2in x 6.3 x 1.2 in | 1.19 lb

Page Count:

352 pages
Penguin Canada
Hamish Hamilton
FICTION / Literary
 
Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2021, Winner Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award 2022, Short-listed Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction 2022, Short-listed McNally Robinson Book of the Year 2022, Short-listed Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021, Long-listed
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS’ TRUST PRIZE FOR FICTION

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 MANITOBA BOOK AWARDS’ CAROL SHIELDS WINNIPEG BOOK AWARD, MARGARET LAURENCE AWARD FOR FICTION, AND MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK


From the bestselling author of The Break comes a staggering intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are, even when we’re no longer together—even when we’re forced apart.


Cedar has nearly forgotten what her family looks like. Phoenix has nearly forgotten what freedom feels like. And Elsie has nearly given up hope. Nearly.

After time spent in foster homes, Cedar goes to live with her estranged father. Although she grapples with the pain of being separated from her mother, Elsie, and sister, Phoenix, she’s hoping for a new chapter in her life, only to find herself once again in a strange house surrounded by strangers. From a youth detention centre, Phoenix gives birth to a baby she’ll never get to raise and tries to forgive herself for all the harm she’s caused (while wondering if she even should). Elsie, struggling with addiction and determined to turn her life around, is buoyed by the idea of being reunited with her daughters and strives to be someone they can depend on, unlike her own distant mother. These are the Strangers, each haunted in her own way. Between flickering moments of warmth and support, the women diverge and reconnect, fighting to survive in a fractured system that pretends to offer success but expects them to fail. Facing the distinct blade of racism from those they trusted most, they urge one another to move through the darkness, all the while wondering if they’ll ever emerge safely on the other side. 

A breathtaking companion to her bestselling debut The Break, Vermette’s The Strangers brings readers into the dynamic world of the Stranger family, the strength of their bond, the shared pain in their past, and the light that beckons from the horizon. This is a searing exploration of race, class, inherited trauma, and matrilineal bonds that—despite everything—refuse to be broken.

AWARD-WINNING CANADIAN AUTHOR: Vermette’s stunning debut novel The Break won the 2017 Amazon First Novel Award and in 2016 was a finalist for the Governor General Award, Rogers Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction, and Canada Reads. Following this incredible achievement and national attention, The Strangers is poised to be an absolute award magnet.

LONG-AWAITED COMPANION NOVEL: Since the immense success of her debut, Vermette’s fans have been anxiously anticipating her next work. While The Strangers can be enjoyed as a standalone novel, it takes place in the same vivid world as The Break, following a number of the characters on a path from the first novel into this one, and will be sure to satisfy readers who have been dying to know what will happen next.

TV SERIES BUZZ: Cineflix was quick to snap up the film and television rights for The Break, and with that six-part mini series already in development there will be inevitable buzz and excitement around the imaginative literature that originally inspired the show.

URGENT CANADIAN CONTENT: Vermette’s work acknowledges and demonstrates the failings of Canadian social structures and the discrimination that Indigenous communities regularly face. The Strangers shows the experience of a family of Métis women engaging with intergenerational struggle and trauma, and importantly highlights a way forward, ultimately emanating a message of hope for her readers.

KATHERENA VERMETTE (she/her) is a Red River Métis (Michif) writer from Treaty 1 territory, the heart of the Métis Nation. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and has worked in poetry, novels, children’s literature, and film. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, her father’s roots run deep in St. Boniface, St. Norbert, and beyond. Her mother’s side is Mennonite from the Altona and Rosenfeld area (Treaty 1). Vermette received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for her first book, North End Love Songs. Her first novel, The Break, won several awards including the Amazon First Novel Award, and was a bestseller in Canada. Her second novel, The Strangers, won the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and named Indigo’s 2021 Book of the Year. She lives with her family in a cranky old house within skipping distance of the temperamental Red River.



Author Hometown: Winnipeg, MB

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 MANITOBA BOOK AWARDS’ CAROL SHIELDS WINNIPEG BOOK AWARD, MARGARET LAURENCE AWARD FOR FICTION, AND MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK

One of:
Quill & Quire's "2021 Best of Fall guide"
CBC's "65 Canadian Works of Fiction to Watch Out for in Fall 2021"
Chatelaine's "5 New Books to Read This Fall"
Toronto Star's "35 Books you need to know about in fall 2021"
CBC's "The most exciting Canadian books coming out in Fall 2021"
Shedoesthecity's "Fall Releases That Should Be On Your Radar"

CBC's "33 Canadian books coming out in September we can't wait to read"
NOW Magazine’s “15 best new books to read this fall”
Elle’s “10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Fall”


Praise for The Strangers:


“Reminiscent of the hard-scrabble tales of the Métis in the Road Allowance days, Vermette offers up a beautiful, raw testament to those living on the margins. Brilliantly weaving the lives of the Strangers into stories within stories within stories, Vermette’s confident, understated prose walks the reader through the unforgiving reality of the descendants of those who stood with Riel and Dumont, grasping for survival in a world committed to a long-established campaign of dispossession. Cathartic and disturbing, The Strangers offers vital insight into the colonial brutality that still haunts the lives of the Métis.”
—2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Rebecca Fisseha, Michelle Good, and Steven Price)

“Katherena Vermette’s The Strangers is a deeply moving story of how colonial institutions continue to bear down on and disrupt the lives of Indigenous women and girls. It is a powerful collective portrait of struggle and resistance, of what it’s like to be in an Indigenous body in twenty-first century Canada. In the end, it adds up to an engrossingly written ode to another kind of care, one against the grain of suffering. A brilliant follow-up!”
—Billy-Ray Belcourt, bestselling author of A History of My Brief Body

The Strangers is a unique and essential triumph of a novel. It is revelatory in its artistry—in its constellating of family against violent separation, in its austere poetics of voice and consciousness. Katherena Vermette has proven once again that she is among the most gifted and relevant writers of our time: someone with everything to teach us about the telling of necessary stories, about grieving the fallen, honouring survival, and revealing the fiercest beauty.”
—David Chariandy, award-winning author of Brother and I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

“With its relevant subject matter and poignant prose, Vermette’s second novel is poised to be as triumphant as her first. [In The Strangers], the author crafts another strong, emotional portrait of Indigenous women.”
Canadian Living

“Filled with vulnerability and loss. . . . It’s an honest confrontation of Indigenous identity.”
Chatelaine

“Vermette has a way of seeing light through the crack in the wall of a dark room.”
—NOW Magazine

“A searing indictment of the pressures and travails placed on Indigenous women.”
Toronto Star

“Quite simply, Vermette. . . . [is] writing for Indigenous people, as opposed to just about Indigenous people.”
CBC

The Strangers is a devastatingly beautiful dive deeper into. . . . [Phoenix’s] story, and that of her family.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)

“This Writer’s Trust Prize-winning. . . . piece is a potent, audacious intergenerational saga that explores race, class, inherited trauma and the strength of matrilineal bonds.”
—The Globe and Mail

“Vermette has an uncanny ear for the rhythm and the cadences of all her characters’ voices. . . . [F]rom its opening pages, The Strangers. . . . speaks, starkly and eloquently, as if directly to the community of readers it creates.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“The story moves back and forward in time, solidifying the branches of a family tree that has grown from both mythology and a harsh realpolitik, growing stronger all the while. This is a fictional family to believe in.”
—ABC



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