We’re thrilled to share that this morning at 4 AM ET, the Booker Prizes announced the longlist for the 2023 Booker Prize. Among them is How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney which will be published by Biblioasis on November 7, 2023. 

The 2023 Booker judges on How to Build a Boat: “The interweaving stories of Jamie, a teenage boy trying to make sense of the world, and Tess, a teacher at his school, make up this humorous and insightful novel about family and the need for connection. Feeney has written an absorbing coming-of-age story which also explores the restrictions of class and education in a small community. A complex and genuinely moving novel.”

“We fell in love with Elaine Feeney as a person and as a writer when we published her debut novel, As You Were, a few years ago,” says Dan Wells, owner and publisher of Biblioasis. “We loved the beauty of her writing, the generous humanity of her characterization, while at the same time her unflinching willingness to explore the world in all of its at times uncomfortable complexity. How to Build a Boat, her second novel, brings all of these talents to the fore. What we’re most grateful for with this Booker nomination is that it should help us bring more readers to Elaine’s marvellous work.”

How to Build a Boat was first published in the UK in spring of 2023, where it has since received wide acclaim. This is the third of Biblioasis’ books to be nominated for the Booker Prize. Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet was longlisted in 2022, and Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport was shortlisted in 2019.

 The Booker Prize was first awarded in 1969. Its aim was to stimulate the reading and discussion of contemporary fiction. The shortlist will be announced online on September 21, 2023.

Order your copy of How to Build a Boat from Biblioasis here!

Credit: Julia Monard


A funny and deeply moving novel about a boy, his dream, and the people who lend him a hand, by the acclaimed author of As You Were

Jamie O’Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age thirteen, there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother, Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.

How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it’s about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.


Elaine Feeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, short story writer and playwright from the west of Ireland. How to Build a Boat, longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023, is Feeney’s second novel. Her 2020 debut, As You Were, was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Irish Novel of the Year Award, and won the Kate O’Brien Award, the McKitterick Prize, and the Dalkey Festival Emerging Writer Award. Feeney has published three collections of poetry, including The Radio Was Gospel and Rise, and her short story “Sojourn” was included in The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories, edited by Sinéad Gleeson. Feeney lectures at the National University of Ireland, Galway. 

QUERELLE OF ROBERVAL shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize!

We’re thrilled to share that Querelle of Roberval by Kevin Lambert, translated by Donald Winkler (August 2, 2022) is a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction!

The shortlist was announced at 10AM ET on September 14, 2022. You can read the full shortlist here.

The judges’ citation states: “Kevin Lambert’s fearless novel is a profane, funny, bleak, touching, playful, and outrageous satire of sexual politics, labour, and capitalism. In ecstatic and cutting prose, it gleefully illuminates both the broad socio-political tensions of life in a Quebec company town and the intimate details of sex, lust, loneliness, and gay relationships in such a place. Like its central character, the book is brash, beautiful, quasi-mythic, and tragic. Most improbably, for all its daring and provocation, Querelle of Roberval is lyrically, even tenderly written.

Publisher Dan Wells said this about the shortlisting: “I am so pleased for Kevin, and for Don Winkler, Querelle‘s exceptional translator, and grateful to the Writers’ Trust jury for understanding that the novel’s various discomforts, savage as some of them may be, are always perfectly aligned to the book’s spirit and purpose. This is classic tragedy with a twist, and I’m thrilled that this nomination will help us bring Kevin’s and Don’s work to a wider range of readers than might otherwise have been the case.”

Named in honour of Writers’ Trust co-founders and literary couple Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, who started the organization in 1976 with the help of a few fellow writers and an aim to encourage a Canadian literary culture at home, the Atwood Gibson Prize recognizes writers of exceptional talent for the best novel or short story collection of the year.

The finalists are selected by a three-member, independent judging panel and the $60,000 winner is announced at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards. The award is generously funded by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Jim Balsillie.

Grab your copy of Querelle of Roberval here!


Shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Homage to Jean Genet’s antihero and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of the Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.

Credit: Gregory Augendre-Cambron

As a millworkers’ strike in the northern lumber town of Roberval drags on, tensions start to escalate between the workers—but when a lockout renews their solidarity, they rally around the mysterious and magnetic influence of Querelle, a dashing newcomer from Montreal. Strapping and unabashed, likeable but callow, by day he walks the picket lines and at night moves like a mythic Adonis through the ranks of young men who flock to his apartment for sex. As the dispute hardens and both sides refuse to yield, sand stalls the gears of the economic machine and the tinderbox of class struggle and entitlement ignites in a firestorm of passions carnal and violent. Trenchant social drama, a tribute to Jean Genet’s antihero, and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of France’s Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.


Born in 1992, Kevin Lambert grew up in Chicoutimi, Quebec. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the Université de Montréal. His widely acclaimed first novel, You Will Love What You Have Killed, was a finalist for Quebec’s Booksellers’ Prize. His second novel, Querelle of Roberval, won France’s Marquis de Sade Prize, and was a finalist for the prestigious Prix Médicis and the literary prize of the Paris newspaper Le Monde. In Canada, Querelle of Roberval won the Prix Ringuet of the Quebec Academy of Arts and Letters, was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and won or was a finalist for six other literary prizes. Kevin Lambert lives in Montreal.


Donald Winkler is a translator of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English translation. He lives in Montreal.