MUSIC, LATE AND SOON shortlisted for the 2022 J.I. Segal Awards Best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme!

coverWe’re thrilled to share that Music, Late and Soon by Robyn Sarah (August 24, 2022) has been shortlisted for the 2022 J.I. Segal Awards Best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme! The shortlist was announced on September 21, 2022. Check out the full list here.

We are thrilled to be able to include five outstanding titles by well-known writers in our short-list,” said Université de Montréal Professor and Awards Committee Chair Robert Schwartzwald in response to the jury’s announcement. “With books in both English and French and from a variety of genres, there is much to celebrate as we prepare to reward the best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme!

For over half a century, the Jacob Isaac Segal Awards have been an important community recognition of Jewish-based literature. Since 2020, the Best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme award also honours the contribution of Jewish culture to a richly diverse contemporary Quebec.

The 2022 J.I. Segal Award for the Best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize. The winner will be announced on November 10th, 2022.

Grab your copy of Music, Late and Soon here!


Shortlisted for the J.I Segal Awards Best Quebec Book on a Jewish Theme • Shortlisted for the The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction

A poet rediscovers the artistic passion of her youth—and pays tribute to the teacher she thought she’d lost.

After thirty-five years as an “on-again, off-again, uncoached closet pianist,” poet and writer Robyn Sarah picked up the phone one day and called her old piano teacher, whom she had last seen in her early twenties. Music, Late and Soon is the story of her return to studying piano with the mentor of her youth. In tandem, she reflects on a previously unexamined musical past: a decade spent at Quebec’s Conservatoire de Musique, studying clarinet—ostensibly headed for a career as an orchestral musician, but already a writer at heart. A meditation on creative process in both music and literary art, this two-tiered musical autobiography interweaves past and present as it tracks the author’s long-ago defection from a musical career path and her late re-embrace of serious practice. At its core is a portrait of an extraordinary piano teacher and of a relationship remembered and renewed.

Credit: Stephen Brockwell


Robyn Sarah is the author of eleven collections of poems, two collections of short stories, a book of essays on poetry, and a memoir, Music, Late and Soon. Her tenth poetry collection, My Shoes Are Killing Me, won the Governor General’s Award in 2015. In 2017 Biblioasis published a forty-year retrospective, Wherever We Mean to Be: Selected Poems, 1975-2015. Sarah’s poems have been anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Poetry and have been broadcast by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. From 2011 until 2020 she served as poetry editor for Cormorant Books. She has lived for most of her life in Montréal.

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.