Take that, Oprah. Canada Reads winner beats talk-show favourite

Take that, Oprah. Canada Reads winner beats talk-show favourite

(Image: Random House) 

Who said debate clubs for book nerds are boring? (Oh, wait…) This year’s Canada Reads competition was a veritable cage match, full of impassioned defences (we mean you, Perdita Felicien) and a come-from-behind win that no one had predicted. In the Ceeb’s annual literary faceoff, Montrealer Nicolas Dickner’s Nikolski—a contemporary tale about three interconnected francophones looking for a sense of belonging, translated by Lazer Lederhendler and championed by Michel Vézina—took it all on Friday. It wrested the title away from the other semifinalist, Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony, and such CanCon biggies as Douglas Coupland’s zeitgeist-seizing Generation X and Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees—a major hit with Canadian girls and women after it was released in 1997, and that was before Oprah stuck her sales-rocketing sticker on it. The little book that could trounces an Olympian, the mighty O and a catchphrase. Vive le Quebec, indeed.

• CBC picks Montreal novel for contest [Montreal Gazette]