We’re so happy to announce that Rehearsals for Living by Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake is a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction!

The Canada Council for the Arts is responsible for administering and promoting the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks), which recognize Canada’s best English-language and French-language books in seven categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, young people’s literature – text, young people’s literature – illustrated books, and translation. The awards promote Canadian literature and encourage Canadians to read. They provide finalists and winners with valuable recognition from peers and readers across the country.

Rehearsals for Living is a revolutionary collaboration about the world we’re living in now, between two of our most important contemporary thinkers, writers and activists.

When the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard, influential author of Policing Black Lives, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, renowned artist, musician, and author of Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, began writing each other letters—a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection in a world shattering under the intersecting crises of pandemic, police killings, and climate catastrophe. These letters soon grew into a powerful exchange about where we go from here.

REHEARSALS FOR LIVING is a captivating and visionary work—part debate, part dialogue, part lively and detailed familial correspondence between two razor-sharp writers. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, and reiterating the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment, Maynard and Simpson create something new: an urgent demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up other ways of ordering earthly life.

“A balm for despair, Rehearsals for Living . . . takes stock of our collapsing society and imagines what we might build from the wreckage. . . . A polyphonic work of critical scholarship that radically reframes the concept of survival to map a feminist, abolitionist, and anti-racist path to the future. . . . Maynard and Simpson have crafted a powerful argument that communion is both necessary and generative, and that the possibility of a better world exists as long as we are able to imagine it together.” — Quill and Quire (starred review)

 “This necessary book is a model—through the shared process of two brilliant thinkers it gifts us clarity to see rehearsals otherwise and elsewhere.” — Ruth Wilson Gilmore, from the Foreword

“[We are] flooded with big books and little books . . . showing us how capitalism, racism, prisons, patri­archy, walls, and war are killing the planet. But this book is different. How Maynard and Simpson came to understand the world we must abolish and the world we need to build is through communing.” — Robin D. G. Kelley, from the Afterwor(l)d

Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (2017), a CBC, Toronto Star, and Globe and Mail national bestseller. Policing Black Lives was designated  one of the best 100 books of 2017 by The Hill Times, and is the winner of the 2017 Errol Morris Book Award. It was also a finalist for The Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers; an Atlantic Book Award; the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction; and the Concordia University First Book Prize. It received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, as well as glowing reviews in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, NOW Toronto, Maclean’s, and the Ottawa Citizen. It was translated into French as NoirEs sous surveillance: Esclavage, répression et violence d’État au Canada, and won the prestigious Prix des libraires award in 2019.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, musician and member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of seven books, including the newly released non-fiction A Short History of the Blockade, and the novel Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladies. Leanne has also released four albums including f{l)ight and Noopiming Sessions, and her new work Theory of lce.

Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson are represented by Chelene Knight and Marilyn Biderman.

To learn more, check out: https://ggbooks.ca/