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.