Katherena Vermette wins Manitoba’s top literary prize

The Break by Katherena Vermette

Big news! Katherena Vermette, author of THE BREAK, has won Manitoba’s top literary prize, the McNally Robinson Booksellers’s Book of the Year award, at Manitoba Writers Guild’s 29th annual Manitoba Book Awards!

But it didn’t stop there for Katherena: she also won Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction as well as the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award.

Congratulations, Katherena! View the full list of winners here.


THE BREAK by Katherena Vermette 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.

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