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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Jael Richardson Recommends

The Break by Katherena Vermette

The Break (2016)

(From House of Anansi)

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Katherena Vermette

(From House of Anansi)

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses Company) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her NFB short documentary, this river, won the Coup de Coeur at the Montreal First Peoples Festival, and has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Her first novel, The Break was shortlisted for a Governor Genezal Literary Award, the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize and was a Canada Reads finalist.