Biblioasis is thrilled to share that the longlist for the second annual Republic of Consciousness Prize (US and Canada) worth $35,000 was announced, and it includes Breaking and Entering by Don Gillmor (Aug 15, 2023)! The prize celebrates the commitment of small presses to exceptional literary merit.

Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,

“We’re so pleased that Don Gillmor’s Breaking and Entering has made the Republic of Consciousness Prize longlist. As independent booksellers and publishers both, we know how stiff the competition is. I’ve admired this prize since its inception in the UK several years ago, especially the way it highlights both often overlooked books published by smaller independent presses and those very same independent presses themselves. If people paid more attention to who published their favorite books, they’d be disappointed less often: this list is a way to discover things you might otherwise have missed, including Don’s novel, a savage and bleakly funny revelation of the rot and rage resting under the veneer of polite company.”

Chosen from dozens of submissions, the longlist for the Republic of Consciousness US & Canada Prize includes a range of novels and short story collections, including those written in English or another language. Jury Chair Lori Feathers said:

“In this, our second year honoring small publishers in the United States and Canada, we are excited to once again celebrate the accomplishments of independent presses. These longlisted titles highlight the indispensable role of small publishers in bringing books to print that expand the idea of great literature, privileging exceptional writing over commercial sales. Their work demonstrates courage and a commitment to ensuring that fiction of the highest quality and imagination finds its readers.”

A Zoom party celebrating the longlist, with publishers, authors and translators, will take place on Tuesday, February 27 at 6PM CT. The shortlist of five books will be announced on Tuesday, March 5 and the winner announced on Tuesday, March 19. More information about the Republic of Consciousness Prize, founded in 2022, can be found here.

Get your copy of Breaking and Entering here!


An Oprah Daily Best Book of 2023 • One of the Globe and Mail’s Most Anticipated Titles of 2023 • Listed in CBC Books Fiction to Read in Fall 2023 • A 49th Shelf Fall Book To Put On Your List • One of the Globe 100’s Best Books of 2023

During the hottest summer on record, Bea’s dangerous new hobby puts everyone’s sense of security to the test.

Forty-nine and sweating through the hottest summer on record, Beatrice Billings is rudderless: her marriage is stale, her son communicates solely through cryptic text messages, her mother has dementia, and she conducts endless arguments with her older sister in her head. Toronto feels like an inadequately air-conditioned museum of its former self, and the same could be said of her life. She dreams of the past, her days as a newlywed, a new mom, a new homeowner gutting the kitchen—now the only novel experience that looms is the threat of divorce.

Credit: Ryan Szulc

Everything changes when she googles “escape” and discovers the world of amateur lock-picking. Breaking into houses is thrilling: she’s subtle and discreet, never greedy, but as her curiosity about other people’s lives becomes a dangerous compulsion and the entire city feels a few degrees from boiling over, she realizes she must turn her guilty analysis on herself. A searingly insightful rendering of midlife among the anxieties of the early twenty-first century, Breaking and Entering is an exacting look at the fragility of all the things we take on faith.


Don Gillmor is the author of To the River, which won the Governor General’s Award for nonfiction. He is the author of three novels, Long Change, Mount Pleasant, and Kanata, a two-volume history of Canada, Canada: A People’s History, and nine books for children, two of which were nominated for the Governor General’s Award. He was a senior editor at The Walrus, and his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, The Walrus, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. He has won twelve National Magazine Awards and numerous other honours. He lives in Toronto.


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.