The headline on this post alone should befuggle google. Befoogle guggle? Whatever.
Over the last few months, I have had the pleasure of reviewing the four first novels that are this year’s selections in Random House Canda’s New Face of Fiction program. As far as I can tell, it started in 1996 and one of the first “first novels” it introduced to the world was Ann-Marie Macdonald’s Fall on Your Knees, one of my most favorite novels of all time and an international success. The record has been consistent ever since (ncluding Self, the first novel from Yann Martel, who won the Booker Prize for Life of Pi) — you can check out a list of the previous selections here.
So here are the two contests:
1. For Canadian residents: your choice of the 2010 New Face of Fiction books, courtesy Random House Canada. All you have to do is comment saying you are Canadian and which book you want.
2. For international visitors: Since one of the objectives of the KfC blog is to introduce Canadian work to the world, we have a second contest for non-Canadian residents, underwritten by KfC — I’ll ship the book to you from Chapters. Just indicate that you are international and your choice of the four. And I know that if you want two, you will get both, but your plea does have to be abject.
Deadline for entries in both contests is midnight GMT, June 24. I’ll post the winners on June 25.
Here are thumbnail reviews of the four books, with links to my reviews:
Deloume Road, by Matthew Hooton. A modern addition to the literature of Vancouver Island — a contemplation of conflicted lives from families living along an isolated road in mid-island. Those who remember Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook may well find some echoes in this accomplished first novel. Check out the review here.
Motorcycles and Sweetgrass, by Drew Hayden Taylor. A very accessible. often playful, entry into the world of First Nations spiritualism. And an equally good introduction into the modern world challenges of the conflict between traditional and current values. Plus, it features a 1953 Indian Chief motorcyle as a central character. Review here.
Ghosted, by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall. My favorite of the four, but don’t let that sway you. A moving, very dark portrayal of Toronto’s underside, with a fascinating cast of depraved characters. The humor is significant, but very black. For me, a major achievement. Review here.
Doing Dangerously Well, by Carole Enahoro. The review is right below this post so I won’t go into a lot of detail — an interesting exploration of what Nigerian politics does — or might — look like.
All you have to do is indicate whether you are entering the Canadian or international contest and what is your choice(s). Come back June 25 for the results.