The Boat People cover image

Congratulations to Sharon Bala, who has won the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for THE BOAT PEOPLE (McClelland and Stewart)! This annual award was established in 2011 on the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird and is given to a novel that highlights the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Globe and Mail bestseller and part of Canada Reads 2018, THE BOAT PEOPLE is an extraordinary novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism. Told through the alternating perspectives of Sri Lankan refugee Mahindan; his lawyer Priya, who reluctantly represents the migrants; and Grace, a third generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan’s fate, THE BOAT PEOPLE is a high-stakes novel that offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis.

Sharon Bala is a three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters award and has had her stories widely published. THE BOAT PEOPLE is her debut novel. She was born in Dubai, raised in the GTA, and lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland with her husband.

See this ABA Journal article for more information.