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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

M-E Girard Recommends

Lemon by Cordelia Strube

Lemon (2009)

(From Coach House Books)

Lemon has three mothers: a biological one she's never met, her adopted father's suicidal ex, and Drew, a school principal who hasn’t left the house since she was stabbed by a student. She has one deadbeat dad, one young cancer-riddled protege, and two friends, the school tramp and a depressed poet. Figuring the numbers are against her, Lemon just can't be bothered trying to fit in. She spurns fashion, television, and even the mall. She reads Mary Wollstonecraft and gets pissed off that Jane Eyre is such a wimp. Meanwhile, the adults in her life are all mired in self-centredness, and the other kids are getting high, beating each other up in parks, and trying to outsex one another. High school is misery, a trial run for an unhappy adulthood of bloated waistlines, bad sex, contradictions, and inequities, and nothing guidance counsellor Blecher can say will convince Lemon otherwise. But making the choice to opt out of sex and violence and cancer and disappointment doesn't mean that these things don't find you. It will be up to Lemon if she can survive them with her usual cavalier aplomb.

Cordelia Strube

(From Coach House Books)

Cordelia Strube has won the CBC Literary Competition for her play Mortal and the Toronto Arts Foundation Protégé Award and she has been shortlisted for the Prix Italia and the Governor General's Award. Her previous novels include Milton's ElementsDr. Kalbfleisch and the Chicken RestaurantPlanet Reese and Lemon, which was longlisted for the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the 2010 Trillium Award.