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2022 Trillium Book Award Winners

2022 Trillium Book Award Finalists’ Booklet click here
AODA English Version / Version LAPHO disponible en français 

WINNER | Trillium Book Award (English)

The Last Exiles

Ann Shin, The Last Exiles, Park Row / Harlequin Trade Publishing

Jin and Suja met and fell in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She was a young journalist from a prominent family, while he was from a small village of little means. Outside the school, the people of North Korea have come under the grip of great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, miles away, Suja has begun to feel the tenuousness of her privilege when she learns that Jin has disappeared. Risking everything, and defying her family, Suja sets out to find him, embarking on a dangerous journey that leads her into a dark criminal underbelly and tests their love and will to survive.

In this vivid and moving story, award-winning filmmaker Ann Shin offers a rare glimpse at life inside the guarded walls of North Korea and the harrowing experiences of those who are daring enough to attempt escape. Inspired by real stories of incredible bravery, The Last Exiles is a stunning debut about love, sacrifice and the price of liberty.

Ann Shin

Ann Shin is an award-winning poet and documentary filmmaker. In addition to publishing her poetry, she's directed films and series that have aired on CBC, ABC, PBS, TVO, Discovery Channel, HGTV and History Channel. Ann lives in Toronto with her partner and two daughters. The Last Exiles is her first novel.

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WINNER | Trillium Book Award (French)

Robert Marinier, Un conte de l’apocalypse, Éditions Prise de parole

In a not-so-distant future ravaged by climate imbalance, cities are submerged, roads are destroyed and floods of migrants converge on the last arable land. In Canada, an extremist faction of the Green Party organizes a coup d’état and imposes death sentences on all those who denied global warning. A rebellion breaks out.

Persuaded to be in a play, Guy Coudonc remains detached from the catastrophe before being catapulted into the position of the central protagonist in this ecological fable.

A theatrical exploration with dark humour, Un conte de l’apocalypse highlights the consequences of our decisions—or inaction—on our own history and environment.

Robert Marinier has worked in theatre and television for more than 40 years. A multi-talented man of the theatre, he writes, acts, directs, teaches and works regularly as a dramaturgy consultant. He is the author of 10 plays, including À la gauche de Dieu, L’Insomnie (1998 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist) and Épinal. Robert is also the author of about 100 TV and radio shows. Notably, with Luc Theriault, he created and wrote four seasons of the successful dramatic comedy Météo+ for the TFO network (2006-2009).

In 2017, he received the Prix du Nouvel-Ontario for his contribution to Franco-Ontarian arts and culture.

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WINNER | Trillium Book Award for Poetry (English)

Bardia Sinaee, Intruder, House of Anansi Press

In Intruder, acclaimed poet Bardia Sinaee explores with vivid and precise language themes of encroachment in contemporary life.

Bemused and droll, paranoid and demagogic, Sinaee’s much-anticipated debut collection presents a world beset by precarity, illness, and human sprawl. Anxiety, hospitalization, and body paranoia recur in the poems’ imagery — Sinaee went through two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy in his mid-twenties, documented in the vertiginous multipart prose poem “Twelve Storeys” — making Intruder a book that seems especially timely, notably in the dreamlike, minimalist sequence “Half-Life,” written during the lockdown in Toronto in spring 2020.

Progressing from plain-spoken dispatches about city life to lucid nightmares of the calamities of history, the poems in Intruder ultimately grapple with, and even embrace, the daily undertaking of living through whatever the hell it is we’re living through.

Bardia Sinaee was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives in Toronto. He is the author of the chapbooks Blue Night Express and Salamander Festival. His poems have also appeared in magazines across Canada and in several editions of Best Canadian Poetry. In 2012 his poem “Barnacle Goose Ballad” was Reader’s Choice winner for The Walrus Poetry Prize, and in 2020 he was co-winner of the Capilano Review’s Robin Blaser Award. He holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Guelph University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Intruder is his first book.

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WINNER | Trillium Book Award for Poetry (French)

Chloé LaDuchesse, Exosquelette, Mémoire d'encrier

Exoskeleton: [apparatus attached to the body to return its mobility]. Chloé LaDuchesse’s poetry is her exoskeleton: she says that her bones are still hollow and that there’s nothing she can do about it. All what’s left of her are the words around which she builds a house.

Poet’s point of view

“It’s also an issue of my body as a sanctuary and as a tool for meditating on the world, of the need to move, to project myself, become attached, grope along and escape. Memories and inventions are superimposed in strata until they are contaminated, tinging where I’ve lived and what I’ve believed. And if the body is a territory, then I aspire to leave it as often as possible, not to find myself but to join with everything I am not yet, even if I want to then cast off the traces of others on my skin.

Without words to cover my skin, I’m invisible. What I write reveals me and becomes my exoskeleton.”

Chloé LaDuchesse is the author of two poetry collections with Mémoire d’encrier: Furies (2017), a 2018 Trillium Award finalist, and Exosquelette (2021), a 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards finalist and nominee for the Prix des libraires 2022. Her work has been published in the reviews Estuaire, Le Sabord, Exit, Moebius and Open Minds Quarterly and in short story and poetry collections. She was the fifth poet laureate of Sudbury, where she still lives.

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