Transatlantic is thrilled to share that three of our clients have made the 2020 Canada Reads longlist! Billy-Ray Belcourt is nominated for his poetry collection NDN COPING MECHANISMS (House of Anansi), Megan Gail Coles is nominated for her novel SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB (House of Anansi), and Samra Habib is nominated for her debut release WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE: A Queer Muslim Memoir (Penguin Random House Canada).

About the theme: One book to bring Canada into focus

“From deeply personal memoirs to poetry and speculative fiction, this year’s longlisted books speak to the theme: One book to bring Canada into focus.

“We’re looking at Canada’s 2020 vision. How do we move forward together? These books inspire readers to think twice about the lens through which they see themselves and Canada.”

About Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. His debut book of poems, This Wound is a World, won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and was named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. Billy-Ray is a Ph.D. student and a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.

Billy-Ray Belcourt is represented by Stephanie Sinclair.

About Megan Gail Coles

Megan Gail Coles is a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the National Theatre School of Canada and is completing an MFA at the University of British Columbia. She has completed numerous plays, and her first fiction collection of short stories, Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome, won the BMO Winterset Award, the ReLit Award, and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and earned her the one-time Writers’ Trust 5×5 prize. Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club is her first novel and was shortlisted for the 2019 Giller Prize. Originally from Savage Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Megan now resides in St. John’s, where she is the Executive Director of Riddle Fence and Projects Manager at Eastern Edge Gallery.

Megan Gail Coles is represented by Samantha Haywood.

About Samra Habib

Samra Habib is a writer, photographer, and activist. As a journalist she’s covered topics ranging from fashion trends and Muslim dating apps to the rise of Islamophobia in the US. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Guardian, and The Advocate, and her photo project, “Just Me and Allah,” has been featured in Nyloni-DVanity Fair ItaliaVice, and The Washington Post. She works with LGBTQ organizations internationally, raising awareness of issues that impact queer Muslims around the world. We Have Always Been Here is her first book and was longlisted for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize.

Samra Habib is represented by Samantha Haywood.

About Canada Reads

Canada Reads is a “literary Survivor,” with celebrities championing books. Each day of the competition, panellists vote to eliminate one book, until a single title is chosen as the title the whole country should read this year. 

The final five books and their champions will be revealed on Jan. 22, 2020.

Congratulations on all the longlisted authors! For the complete list, please visit: