We’re thrilled to share that the Society of Authors announced the winners of their prestigious translation prizes with a combined prize fund of $47,000 CAD, and among them is Frank Wynne, who has been awarded the Scott Moncrieff Prize for his translation from the French of Standing Heavy by GauZ’, which was published in North America by Biblioasis on October 3rd, 2023 and by MacLehose Press in the UK.

Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation judge Jane MacKenzie says of Standing Heavy,

“The writing is searingly witty, incisive, full of vivid imagery, and has been superbly translated by Frank Wynne, losing none of the humour, the energy, the authentic street view. This is a true tour-de-force in both languages, and reads as joyfully and sharply in English as it does in French.”

The novel follows three generations of African security guards as they contend with a society growing more and more hostile to immigration. It offers a funny, fast-paced, and poignant take on the legacy of Franco-African history, and has received many excellent reviews from the New York Times, Financial Times, Elle Magazine, The Walrus, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.

Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,

“Frank Wynne is a marvel, one of the best translators at work in any language: in this translation of Standing Heavy he’s given us monoglots the next best thing to reading him in the original: a sharp-eared, playful, elegant work of fiction. We’re very happy for him, and for GauZ’: may this bring him a few more readers in English.”

The Society of Authors awards prizes for translations from seven languages including the Scott Moncrieff Prize, an annual award for translations into English of full-length French works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges were Constance Bantman, Jane MacKenzie and David Mills.

Get your copy of Standing Heavy here!


Shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize • One of The Walrus‘ Best Fall Books of 2023

A funny, fast-paced, and poignant take on Franco-African history, as told through the eyes of three African security guards in Paris.

All over the city, they are watching: Black men paid to stand guard, invisible among the wealthy flâneurs and yet the only ones who truly see. From Les Grands Moulins to a Sephora on the Champs-Élysées, Ferdinand, Ossiri, and Kassoum find their way as undocumented workers amidst political infighting and the ever-changing landscape of immigration policy. Fast-paced and funny, poignant and sharply satirical, Standing Heavy is a searing deconstruction of colonial legacies and capitalist consumption and an unforgettable account of everything that passes under the security guards’ all-seeing eyes.


Frank Wynne, the translator of Standing Heavy, is an award-winning Irish writer and translator from French and Spanish. Over a career spanning more than twenty years, Wynne has translated a wide variety of authors, including GauZ’, Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Modiano, and Emiliano Monge. This is the third time he has been awarded both the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation from the French and he has twice won the Premio Valle Inclán for translation from Spanish. His translation of Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo won the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize.


GauZ’ is an Ivorian author, journalist and screenwriter. After studying biochemistry, he moved to Paris as an undocumented student, working as a security guard before returning to the Côte d’Ivoire. His debut novel, Standing Heavy, won the Prix des libraires Gibert Joseph and the English translation was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. It was followed by Comrade Papa, which won the 2019 Prix Éthiophile, and Black Manoo. GauZ’ is the editor-in-chief of the satirical economic newspaper News & co, and has written screenplays and documentary films.

THE FUTURE shortlisted for CANADA READS 2024!

We’re thrilled to share that this morning, CBC announced the shortlist for Canada Reads 2024. The Future by Catherine Leroux (translated by Susan Ouriou) which was published by Biblioasis on September 5, 2023, will be championed by writer Heather O’Neill. The live debates will take place from March 4th to 7th, 2024. The theme of this year’s competition is hope. We are living in challenging times, and CBC Books has curated a list of books about, “finding the resilience and the hope needed to carry on and keep moving forward.”

Champion Heather O’Neill says The Future is an accomplished novel portraying,

“A dystopian world of feral children and corruption. Leroux describes it in an eerily beautiful and absolutely unique voice.”

Both Catherine Leroux and Heather O’Neill are natives of Montreal. In a Toronto Star feature story published today, Steven Beattie spoke to Leroux about her novel and to O’Neill about selecting The Future:

“As far as that rubric goes, Leroux’s book seems like a natural fit. With its overlapping themes of ecological decay, motherhood, childhood, and societal discord, The Future seemed to offer O’Neill a rich trove of subject matter to address—a significant consideration when she was musing about what book she wanted to champion. ‘You have to find a book that you can dig into and discuss for an entire week,’ O’Neill says. ‘There are just so many elements in The Future to talk about. I thought, this is going to be really fun.'”

Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,

“We’re so pleased for Catherine, and grateful to Heather O’Neill for her enthusiasm for The Future! It’s a book for this moment: in a world that too often seems dystopic, it asks what comes after, where we’ll find our communities, pointing to ways we can live better together. We’re thankful as well to the CBC Books team, and that this program will bring so many new readers to Catherine’s wonderful work.”

This is the second of Biblioasis’ books to be nominated for CBC’s Canada Reads. The Dishwasher by Stéphane Larue (translated by Pablo Strauss) was nominated in 2020. Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario. Since 2004 we have published the best in contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literature in translation.

CBC’s Canada Reads premiered in 2002. The great Canadian book debate has been airing annually for more than twenty years and aims to select a winning book that all Canadians should read. Ali Hassan will host the 23rd competition, in which a panel of five celebrity advocates will champion Canadian books. Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panelists until a winner is declared the must-read book for Canadians in 2024. More information on the program and the selected titles is available at

Order your copy of The Future here!


Shortlisted for Canada Reads 2024 • One of’s Can’t Miss Speculative Fiction for Fall 2023 • Listed in CBC Books Fiction to Read in Fall 2023 • One of Kirkus Reviews‘ Fall 2023 Big Books By Small Presses • A Kirkus Review Work of Translated Fiction To Read Now • One of CBC Books Best Books of 2023

In an alternate history in which the French never surrendered Detroit, children protect their own kingdom in the trees.

In an alternate history of Detroit, the Motor City was never surrendered to the US. Its residents deal with pollution, poverty, and the legacy of racism—and strange and magical things are happening: children rule over their own kingdom in the trees and burned houses regenerate themselves. When Gloria arrives looking for answers and her missing granddaughters, at first she finds only a hungry mouse in the derelict home where her daughter was murdered. But the neighbours take pity on her and she turns to their resilience and impressive gardens for sustenance.

Photo Credit: Justine Latour

When a strange intuition sends Gloria into the woods of Parc Rouge, where the city’s orphaned and abandoned children are rumored to have created their own society, she can’t imagine the strength she will find. A richly imagined story of community and a plea for persistence in the face of our uncertain future, The Future is a lyrical testament to the power we hold to protect the people and places we love—together.


Catherine Leroux is a Quebec novelist, translator and editor born in 1979. Her novel Le mur mitoyen won the France-Quebec Prize and its English version, The Party Wall, was nominated for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Future received the Jacques-Brossard award for speculative fiction and was nominated for the Quebec Booksellers Prize. Catherine also won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for her translation of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. Two of her novels are currently being adapted for the screen. She lives in Montreal with her two children.

Photo Credit: Jaz Hart Studio Inc


Susan Ouriou is an award-winning fiction writer and literary translator with over sixty translations and co-translations of fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young-adult literature to her credit. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation for which she has also been shortlisted on five other occasions. Many of her young adult translations have made the IBBY Honor List. She has also published two novels, Damselfish and Nathan, edited the anthologies Beyond Words—Translating the World and Languages of Our Land—Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec and contributed a one-act play to the upcoming anthology Many Mothers—Seven Skies. Susan lives in Calgary, Alberta.


We’re thrilled to share that JC Sutcliffe has won the 2023 French-American Translation Prize for Fiction for her translation of The Music Game by Stéfanie Clermont! Read the official announcement here.

Since 1986, the French-American Foundation, with the longstanding support of the Florence Gould Foundation, has awarded an annual prize for exceptional translations from French to English in both fiction and nonfiction. JC is joined by the nonfiction co-winners Kieran Aarons and Cédrine Michel, for their co-translation of Self Defense: A Philosophy of Violence by Elsa Dorlin (Verso Books).

The awards ceremony is open to the public and will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Hearst Tower in NYC. More information and a link to RSVP, may be found here.

A huge congratulations to JC from all of us at Biblioasis!

Get your copy of The Music Game here!


Winner of the 2023 French-American Translation Prize for Fiction

Friends since grade school, Céline, Julie, and Sabrina come of age at the start of a new millennium, supporting each other and drifting apart as their lives pull them in different directions. But when their friend dies by suicide in the abandoned city lot where they once gathered, they must carry on in the world that left him behind—one they once dreamed they would change for the better. From the grind of Montreal service jobs, to isolated French Ontario countryside childhoods, to the tenuous cooperation of Bay Area punk squats, the three young women navigate everyday losses and fears against the backdrop of a tumultuous twenty-first century. An ode to friendship and the ties that bind us together, Stéfanie Clermont’s award-winning The Music Game confronts the violence of the modern world and pays homage to those who work in the hope and faith that it can still be made a better place.


JC Sutcliffe is a writer, translator and editor. She has lived in England, France and Canada. The Music Game is the ninth Québécois novel she has translated.


Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Stéfanie Clermont travelled throughout Canada and the United States, working at a wide variety of jobs, before settling in Montreal in 2012. The Music Game, her first book, won the prestigious Ringuet Prize of the Quebec Academy of Arts and Letters, the Quebec Arts Council’s prize for a new work by a young artist, and the Adrienne Choquette Prize for short stories. It was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and was included in Le Combat des livres, the French-language counterpart of Canada Reads.

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.


Summer is ending, and autumn is nearly here! For the month of September, our featured pick for the Biblioasis Spotlight Series highlights award-winning Quebec author Catherine Leroux with her English-language debut, The Party Wall (translated by Lazer Lederhendler). Read on for a deeply insightful note from Catherine, and be sure to keep an eye out later this month for an excerpt in our newsletter!


Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation • Shortlisted for the 2016 Giller Prize • Selected for Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2016 • Winner of the Prestigious France-Quebec Prize • Nominated for the Quebec Bookseller’s Prize

Catherine Leroux’s The Party Wall shifts between and ties together stories about pairs joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she may not be the biological mother of her own son despite having given birth to him; a brother and sister unite, as their mother dies, to search for their long-lost father; two young sisters take a detour home, unaware of the tragedy that awaits; and a political couple—when the husband accedes to power in a post-apocalyptic future state—is shaken by the revelation of their own shared, if equally unknown, history.

Lyrical, intelligent, and profound, The Party Wall is luminously human, a surreally unforgettable journey through the barriers that can both separate us and bring us together.

“…an intoxicating blend of the familiar and the uncanny, brilliantly executed … The Party Wall has the narrative force of a Hollywood film, while also offering richly executed portraits of the characters’ interior lives.”—Montreal Review of Books

“… superbly crafted … Leroux skillfully reveals the inner worlds of her achingly human characters and the intricate bonds that connect them to each other. Images from this beautiful and moving book will haunt readers.”—Publishers Weekly

Catherine Leroux was born in 1979 in the Northern suburbs of Montreal. Her first novel, Marche en forêt, was published in 2011 by Éditions Alto. The Party Wall, her English-language debut published with Biblioasis in 2016, was selected for Indies Introduce for Summer/Fall, shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and won the Governor General’s Award for Translation. Her subsequent novels, Madame Victoria and L’avenir were shortlisted and won various awards. Catherine lives in Montreal where she devotes her time between writing, translation and editorial work.

Get your copy of The Party Wall here!

Check out Catherine’s third book, Madame Victoria, here!


Photo Credit: Audrée Wilhemy


Canaries in the Coal Mine

I started writing The Party Wall in 2011. At the time, the book felt slightly hyperbolic, especially the chapters situated in the near future: Canada recovering from years of right-wing, divisive, autocratic government; the Prairies’ soil gone sterile due to droughts; the coasts flooded by torrential rains. Political and racist violence permeating every sphere of life.

More than a decade later, it doesn’t quite seem like an exaggeration anymore. Back then, the effects of climate change were akin to the first subtle, almost unreal symptoms of an illness, while today, they are unescapable in their devastating potency. The turbulence of the world in which Ariel and Marie evolved now seems tame compared to the schizophrenic landscape created by social and political leaders, both abroad and at home.

What are we to make of these stories, that could have been read a decade ago as anticipatory literary attempts to define still-hazy outlines on the horizon, now that these shapes have materialized into our new reality? I believe it’s a matter of shifting one’s perspective. Through the crises, the characters still love and fight and dream and fail. They still come to life regardless of the time in which they are read. Because of that, they remain capable of opening spaces in our minds where we can think and feel our present, where we may hold hope.

I’ve always liked the idea of novelists as canaries in the coal mine. I did wonder what they might do once the gas has filled the tunnel. For now, against all odds, they are still singing.



On Time and Water coverWe’re thrilled to share that On Time and Water (March 30, 2021) by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith, was longlisted for the 2022 National Translation Award! Check out the full list of nominees here.

The NTA, which is administered by ALTA, is the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work. Featuring authors writing in 14 different languages, this year’s longlists expand the prize’s dedication to literary diversity in English. The selection criteria include the quality of the finished English language book, and the quality of the translation. This year’s prose judges are Suzanne Jill Levine, Arunava Sinha, and Annie Tucker.

The winning translators will receive a $2,500 cash prize each. The awards will be announced at ALTA’s annual awards ceremony, which in 2022 will be held virtually. The awards ceremony will air on October 6, 2022 on ALTA’s Eventbrite page; this event is free and open to the public.

Order your copy of On Time and Water here!


Finalist for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize • A Winnipeg Free Press Top Read of 2021

Asked by a leading climate scientist why he wasn’t writing about the greatest crisis mankind has faced, Andri Snær Magnason, one of Iceland’s most beloved writers and public intellectuals, protested: he wasn’t a specialist, he said. It wasn’t his field. But the scientist persisted: “If you cannot understand our scientific findings and present them in an emotional, psychological, poetic or mythological context,” he told him, “then no one will really understand the issue, and the world will end.”

Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, Magnason’s resulting response is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future. Moving from reflections on how one writes an obituary for a glacier to exhortation for a heightened understanding of human time and our obligations to one another, throughout history and across the globe, On Time and Water is both deeply personal and globally minded: a travel story, a world history, a desperate plea to live in harmony with future generations—and is unlike anything that has yet been published on the current climate emergency.


Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland’s most celebrated writers. He has won the Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction, children’s fiction, and non-fiction. In 2009, Magnason co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2010, Magnason was awarded the Kairos Prize, presented to outstanding individuals in the field of intercultural understanding. Magnason ran for president of Iceland in 2016 and came third out of nine candidates.


Lytton Smith is a poet, professor, and translator from the Icelandic. His most recent translations include works by Kristin Ómarsdóttir, Jón Gnarr, Ófeigur Sigurðsson, and Guðbergur Bergsson. His most recent poetry collection, The All-Purpose Magical Tent, was published by Nightboat. Having earned his MFA and PhD from Columbia University, he currently teaches at SUNY Geneseo.


Biblioasis is thrilled to share that this morning on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, it was announced by the Canada Council for the Arts that If You Hear Me by Pascale Quiviger & translated by Lazer Lederhendler (March 3, 2020) has won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation! As the winning translator, Lazer Lederhendler is awarded $25,000 CAD. All finalists received $1,000 CAD. This is Lazer Lederhendler’s third time winning the Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation. He previously won for The Party Wall in 2016 (Biblioasis) and Nikolski in 2008 (Knopf Canada).

In a statement, publisher Dan Wells said, “All of us at Biblioasis are very happy that Lazer Lederhendler’s translation of Pascale Quiviger’s If You Hear Me has won the Governor General’s Award for Translation. Lazer has long been one of the very best translators in the country, as this, his sixth nomination and third win for the Governor General’s Award attest: it’s been an honour and joy to work with him on If You Hear Me, and we thank the jury for their support and acknowledgement of his incredible work.”

If You Hear Me was chosen as the winner by a peer assessment committee that included Angela Carr, Jo-Anne Elder, and Nigel Spencer. Here’s what they had to say in praise of the book:

“Lazer Lederhendler has presented challenging subject matter with sensitivity, nuance and elegance. His language is powerful yet limpid, understated yet heartbreaking, and lightly humorous. He delicately navigates complex layers of trauma in the immigrant and the patient, lingering between life and death, dream and reality. The finely drawn characters in this novel wait, as we all do, for release.”

The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people’s literature—text, young people’s literature—illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

The other finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Translation were Amaryllis & Little Witch by Pascal Brullemans & translated by Alexis Diamond (Playwrights Canada Press), Back Roads by Andrée A. Michaud & translated by J. C. Sutcliffe (House of Anansi), The Country Will Bring Us No Peace by Matthieu Simard & translated by Pablo Strauss (Coach House Books), and The Neptune Room by Bertrand Laverdure & translated by Oana Avasilichioaei (Book*hug Press).

To celebrate the win, Biblioasis is hosting a virtual event on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 2 PM EDT with both Pascale Quiviger and Lazer Lederhendler. There will be a discussion, a Q&A, and a book giveaway! Stay tuned for more details.


Sliding doors open and close automatically, exit to the left, entrance to the right. Beyond it, cars go by, and pedestrians and cyclists. A large park behaves as if nothing has happened. The mirage of a world intact.

In an instant, a life can change forever. After he falls from a scaffold on the construction site where he works, David, deep in a coma, is visited regularly by his wife, Caroline, and their six-year-old son Bertrand. Yet despite their devotion, there seems to be no crossing the divide between consciousness and the mysterious world David now inhabits. Devastated by loss and the reality that their own lives must go on, the mourners face difficult questions. How do we communicate when language fails? When, and how, do we move forward? What constitutes a life, and can there be such a thing as a good death? All the while, David’s inner world unfolds, shifting from sensory perceptions, to memories of loved ones, to nightmare landscapes from his family’s past in WWII Poland.

Elegantly translated by Lazer Lederhendler, If You Hear Me is a gripping account of a woman’s struggle to let go of the husband whose mind is lost to her while his body lives on in the bittersweet present, and a deft rendering of the complexity of grief, asking what it means to be alive and how we learn to accept the unacceptable—while at the same time bearing witness to the enduring power of hope, and the ways we find peace in unexpected places.


Born in Montreal, Pascale Quiviger studied visual arts, earned an M.A. in philosophy and did an apprenticeship in print-making in Rome. She has published four novels, a book of short stories and a book of poems, and has written and illustrated two art books. Her novel The Perfect Circle won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in French, and, in English translation, was a finalist for the Giller Prize. The Breakwater House was a finalist for the Prix France-Québec, and If You Hear Me was translated into Spanish. A resident of Italy for more than a decade, Pascale Quiviger now lives with her family in Nottingham, England.


Lazer Lederhendler is a full-time literary translator specializing in Québécois fiction and non-fiction. His translations have earned awards and distinctions in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A. He has translated the works of noted authors including Gaétan Soucy, Nicolas Dickner, Edem Awumey, Perrine Leblanc, and Catherine Leroux. He lives in Montreal with the visual artist Pierrette Bouchard.


Get your copy of If You Hear Me now from Biblioasis!