Here is the Canada Reads 2022 longlist – CBC.ca

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Fifteen books are on the Canada Reads longlist for 2022.

From deeply personal memoirs, engaging short story collections, expansive stories and gothic fiction, this year’s longlisted books inspire readers to reflect on community and who we are in the world we live in.

The 2022 longlist is:

The five panellists and the five books they choose to champion will be revealed on Jan. 26, 2022.

The debates will take place March 28-31, 2022.

They will be hosted by Ali Hassan and will be broadcast on CBC Radio OneCBC TVCBC Gem and on CBC Books

Hassan has hosted Canada Reads since 2017.

Hassan is an actor, comedian and host of CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and a frequent guest host of As it Happens and q. He can also be seen in his TV roles on Designated SurvivorOdd Squad and Run the Burbs

2022 marks the 21st edition of Canada Reads.

Canada Reads premiered in 2002. The first winning book was In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, which was defended by musician Steven Page.

Other past Canada Reads winners include Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal, defended by Olympian Clara Hughes, Kim Thúy’s Ru, defended by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey and Lisa Moore’s February, defended by comedian Trent McClellan. 

Last year’s winner was actor Devery Jacobs, championing the novel Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead. You can rewatch the 2021 debates here.

You can see a complete list of past winners and contenders here.

You can learn more about the books on the Canada Reads 2022 longlist below.

The Spoon Stealer is a novel by Lesley Crewe. (Nimbus Publishing/Vagrant Press, Nicola Davison)

The Spoon Stealer is a novel that uses wit and humour to tell a story about family secrets, friendship and belonging. Emmeline is a compulsive spoon stealer and always had issues fitting into life on her family’s rural Nova Scotian farm. Facing a family crisis during the First World War, Emmeline flees to England to create a new life for herself with her best friend, Vera, a small white dog. When she decides to write her memoirs, secrets are uncovered and friendships are formed as she learns more about herself and the world she lives in.

Lesley Crewe is a Nova Scotia columnist, screenwriter and author of several novels, including the forthcoming novel Nosy Parkeras well as BeholdenMary, MaryAmazing GraceChloe Sparrow, Kin and Relative Happiness, which has been adapted into a feature film. Crewe won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction for The Spoon Stealer.

In Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers, Di Cintio unearths the tales of a handful of Canadian cabbies, and he hears the stories you may miss if you don’t pay attention. (James May, Biblioasis)

Marcello Di Cintio explores the role of the taxi cab in contemporary culture in DrivenTaxis are both public and private space, and their small dimensions mean strangers share an intimate closeness during the duration of a trip. Di Cintio interviews several taxi drivers from different backgrounds, and attempts to make sense of the role cabs play in our culture, while also shedding light on those who drive them, often silently and anonymously.

Marcello Di Cintio is a travel writer and author from Calgary. His other books include Walls and Pay No Heed to the Rockets. Walls won the 2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. His work can also be found in the International New York Times, Afar and Canadian Geographic. 

The Sunday Magazine22:54The secret lives of taxi drivers

In ‘Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers’, Marcello Di Cintio unearths the tales of a handful of Canadian cabbies, and he hears the stories you may miss if you don’t pay attention.

Washington Black is a novel by Esi Edugyan. (Patrick Crean Editions, Tamara Poppitt)

Washington Black tells the story of 11-year-old Washington Black, who was born into slavery on a Barbados sugar plantation. His master is Christopher Wilde, a man obsessed with developing a machine that can fly. The two develop a bond, but when a man is killed, Wilde must choose between his family and saving Washington’s life — and the choice results in an unforgettable adventure around the world. 

Washington Black won the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Esi Edugyan is also the author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, the latter of which won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was defended on Canada Reads by Donovan Bailey in 2014. She delivered the CBC Massey Lectures and adapted the series into the book Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling. Raised in Calgary, Edugyan now lives in Victoria, B.C.

Ideas53:59The Telling of Stories: 2021 CBC Massey Lecturer Esi Edugyan

When stories are left out of the historical record, we are all the poorer for that, says 2021 CBC Massey lecturer Esi Edugyan. Her six-part lectures will air on IDEAS starting January 24. As a prequel, the acclaimed novelist joins Nahlah Ayed to talk about the importance of origin stories and about the people and things that shaped her as a writer.

What Strange Paradise is a novel by Omar El Akkad. (Kateshia Pendergrass, McClelland & Stewart)

What Strange Paradise is a novel that tells the story of a global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. Nine-year-old Amir is the only survivor from a ship full of refugees coming to a small island nation. He ends up with a teenage girl named Vanna, who lives on the island. Even though they don’t share a common language or culture, Vanna becomes determined to keep Amir safe. What Strange Paradise tells both their stories and how they each reached this moment, while asking the questions, “How did we get here?” and “What are we going to do about it?”

What Strange Paradise won the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Omar El Akkad is a Canadian journalist and author who currently lives in Portland, Ore. He is also the author of the novel American War, which was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Q12:18Omar El Akkad reflects on winning $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize

Omar El Akkad is the winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel What Strange Paradise. The author joined Tom Power to talk about being honoured with Canada’s most prestigious literary award.

Book of Wings is a novel by Tawhida Tanya Evanson. (Esplanade Books/Véhicule Press, Temmuz Arsiray)

Book of Wings is a novel that follows an artist on a global journey with her lover, from Canada to the Caribbean to Paris and beyond. Along the way, their relationship falls apart, but the artist goes on a personal and spiritual journey as she traverses the globe.

Tawhida Tanya Evanson is an Antiguan Québecois writer, artist and performer who currently lives in Montreal. She is also the author of the poetry collections Nouveau Griot and Bothism. Book of Wings is her first work of fiction. 

The Next Chapter13:20Genki Ferguson on Satellite Love

Genki Ferguson talks to Shelagh Rogers about his novel, Satellite Love.

Satellite Love is a novel by Genki Ferguson. (McClelland & Stewart, genkiferguson.com)

The novel Satellite Love is set in a city in Japan in 1999. Anna is a lonely teenager who turns to stargazing for comfort and escape. But when the Low Earth Orbit satellite (aka LEO) returns Anna’s gaze and comes down to earth as Leo, what follows is an unconventional story about love, loneliness and human connection.

Genki Ferguson is a writer from Calgary. Satellite Love is his first book.

Writers and Company52:03Rivka Galchen’s reimagining of a 17th century witch trial is a story that speaks to our time

The Canadian-born American novelist talks about magic and science and her new book about the real-life witch trial of the mother of 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Rivka Galchen is the author of Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch. (Sandy Tait, Harper Perennial)

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch takes place in a small German town in 1618, where an elderly widow is accused of witchcraft. In the German duchy of Württemberg, fear is palpable — the plague is spreading, and The Thirty Years’ War has begun. So when a woman named Ursula Reinbold accuses widow Katharina of offering her a witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble.

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch was shortlisted for the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Rivka Galchen is a Canadian American writer. She is also the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. She lives in New York City.

Daybreak North7:44‘Five Little Indians’ Author Michelle Good on Truth and Reconciliation Day

The author reflects on how she hopes people will treat the new national holiday.

Five Little Indians is a novel by Michelle Good. (Harper Perennial, Candice Camille)

In Five Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie were taken from their families and sent to a residential school when they were very small. Barely out of childhood, they are released and left to contend with the seedy world of eastside Vancouver. Fuelled by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past. 

Five Little Indians won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was also on the 2020 Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize shortlist and the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Michelle Good is a Cree writer and retired lawyer, as well as a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Good holds an MFA and a law degree from the University of British Columbia and, as a lawyer, advocated for residential school survivors. Five Little Indians is her first book. CBC Books named her a writer to watch in 2020.

Q17:51Catherine Hernandez on her literary ode to Scarborough

Canadian author Catherine Hernandez joined Tom Power to talk about bringing her debut novel, Scarborough, to the big screen. She explained why centering the story around a community of low-income families from different racial and ethnic backgrounds was so important to her.

Scarborough is a novel by Catherine Hernandez. (Noor Khan, Arsenal Pulp Press)

Scarborough is the multi-voiced story of a neighbourhood that refuses to fall apart in the face of poverty and crime. Weaving together the stories of three children growing up in difficult circumstances with the stories of three adults who are doing their best to help them out, Scarborough is a vibrant and emotional debut. 

Catherine Hernandez is a Canadian writer, author and playwright. CBC Books named Hernandez a writer to watch in 2017 and her debut novel Scarborough was shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Award, the 2018 Trillium Book Award and the 2018 Edmund White Award for debut fiction. Scarborough was also on the 2018 Canada Reads longlist and has been adapted into a feature film.  Her sophomore novel, Crosshairs, was published in 2020. 

27:31This 71-year-old writer’s coming-of-age novel is a debut like no other

Okanagan First Nation writer Brian Thomas Isaac’s debut is a window into a unique Indigenous boy’s childhood.

All the Quiet Places is the first novel from Okanagan First Nation writer Brian Thomas Isaac. (Touchwood Editions)

In All the Quiet Places, it’s 1956 and young Eddie Toma lives on the far edge of the Okanagan Indian Reserve with his mother and little brother. In the summer, he tags along with his mother, his nephew and her friends to farm in Washington state. After tragedy strikes, Eddie comes home grief-stricken, confused and lonely. As he grows up, his life is governed by the decisions of the adults around him. And every time things start to look up, circumstances beyond his control crash down around him — and the effects of guilt, grief and despair keep piling up, threatening everything Eddie has ever known or loved.

Brian Thomas Isaac was born on the Okanagan Indian Reserve, in south central B.C. He’s worked in oil fields, as a bricklayer and he had a short career riding bulls in local rodeos. As a lover of sports, he has coached minor hockey. All the Quiet Places is his first book.

Dominoes at the Crossroads is a novel by Kaie Kellough. (Kevin Calixte, Esplanade Books/Véhicule Press)

In Dominoes at the CrossroadsKaie Kellough navigates Canada’s Caribbean diaspora, through a broad cast of characters who seek music and a connection to their past. They include jazz musicians, hitchhikers, suburbanites, student radicals, secret agents, historians and their fugitive slave ancestors. Their stories stretch from Montreal’s Old Port to as far as the South American rainforests. 

Kaie Kellough is a writer based in Montreal. His novel Accordéon was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award in 2017. He is also the author of the poetry collection Magnetic Equatorwhich won the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Q17:33Silvia Moreno-Garcia on following up her bestselling novel Mexican Gothic with Velvet Was the Night

Vancouver-based author Silvia Moreno-Garcia has just followed up her bestselling novel Mexican Gothic with a new political noir, Velvet Was the Night. The story is set in the shadowy world of spies, student activists and gangsters in 1970s Mexico City. She joined guest host Ali Hassan to tell us more.

Velvet Was the Night is a novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. (Del Ray, Martin Dee)

In Velvet Was The Night, it’s the 1970s in Mexico City and Maite is a secretary who lives to read the latest issue of Secret Romance. She escapes into stories of passion and danger, ignoring the student protests and political unrest that consume the city. When her next-door neighbour, Leonora, a beautiful art student, disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite searches for her and uncovers Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents. Eccentric criminal Elvis, at the request of his boss, is also looking for Leonora. As Maite and Elvis come closer to finding out the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives. 

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a Canadian writer who was born and raised in Mexico. She’s the author of novels Mexican GothicGods of Jade and ShadowSignal to NoiseCertain Dark Things and The Beautiful Ones. She has previously won the Goodreads Readers Choice Award and the Copper Cylinder Award. 

The Current23:17Clayton Thomas-Müller on his fight for Indigenous rights and the environment

Clayton Thomas-Müller survived abuse, discrimination, juvenile detention and gangs while growing up. He took those experiences and dedicated his life to protecting Indigenous rights and the environment. He tells us about that journey, which is detailed in his book Life in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing.

Clayton Thomas-Müller is the author of Life in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing. (Thelma Young Lutunatabua, Allen Lane)

Life in the City of Dirty Water is a memoir by Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Müller. It covers his entire life: from playing with toy planes as a way to escape the intergenerational pain of Canada’s residential school system to spending time in juvenile detention and later becoming an activist in the fight against colonial racism and violence. Along this rocky road, Thomas-Müller remains tied to his Cree heritage and spirituality.

Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, located in Northern Manitoba. He’s campaigned on behalf of Indigenous peoples around the world for more than 20 years, working with numerous organizations. Life in the City of Dirty Water is his first book.

The Next Chapter12:58Njoki Wane on From My Mother’s Back: A Journey from Kenya to Canada

The author and award-winning scholar Njoki Wane on her memoir From My Mother’s Back: A Journey from Kenya to Canada.

From My Mother’s Back is a nonfiction book by Njoki Wane. (Wolsak & Wynn)

Njoki Wane’s From My Mother’s Back reflects on her childhood living in Kenya where her parents owned a small coffee farm. It explores her African identity and how her upbringing and close relationship with her mother ensured her sense of self. The book later follows her to Canada, as she pursues her academic dreams and experiences what it means to be a Black African woman in a predominantly white society.

Njoki Wane is a professor at the University of Toronto and a recognized scholar in the areas of Black feminism and African spirituality.

We Two Alone is a book by Jack Wang. (Mike Grippi, House of Anansi Press)

Set over a century and spanning five continents, We Two Alone traces the evolution of the Chinese immigrant experience. Following various people, families and professionals across the globe, Jack Wang creates a tapestry of experience that encompasses the trials and tribulations of a diaspora trying to find its place in the world. 

We Two Alone won the 2021 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first short story collection.

Jack Wang’s short stories have been published in Joyland Magazine, The Humber Literary Review and The New Quarterly. We Two Alone is his first book.

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