We are over the moon excited to announce that titles from two Transatlantic clients have been nominated for the 2024 Canada Reads Longlist, JUNIE by Chelene Knight and MAMASKATCH by Darrel J. McLeod!

Canada Reads is an annual “battle of the books” competition organized and broadcast by Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC which premiered in 2002. The first winning book was IN THE SKIN OF A LION by Michael Ondaatje, which was defended by musician Steven Page. This year, the five panelists and the five books they choose to champion will be revealed on Jan. 11, 2024. The debates will take place March 4-7, 2024. The year 2024 marks the 23rd edition of Canada Reads!
To see the full long list, click here: https://www.cbc.ca/books/the-canada-reads-2024-longlist-is-here-1.7056323

About the longlisted titles: 

JUNIE by Chelene Knight (Book*hug Press)

1930s, Hogan’s Alley — a thriving Black and immigrant community located in East Vancouver. Junie is a creative, observant child who moves to the alley with her mother, Maddie: a jazz singer with a growing alcohol dependency. Junie quickly makes meaningful relationships with two mentors and a girl her own age, Estelle, whose resilient and entrepreneurial mother is grappling with white scrutiny and the fact that she never really wanted a child.

As Junie finds adulthood, exploring her artistic talents and burgeoning sexuality, her mother sinks further into the bottle while the thriving neighbourhood — once gushing with potential — begins to change. As her world opens, Junie intuits the opposite for the community she loves.

Told through the fascinating lens of a bright woman in an oft-disquieting world, this book is intimate and urgent—not just an unflinching look at the destruction of a vibrant community, but a celebration of the Black lives within.

Chelene Knight is a writer and poet from Vancouver. She is the author of Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, which won the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her work has appeared in literary magazines in Canada and the U.S. and she has been a judge for literary awards, including the B.C. Book Prizes.

Chelene Knight is represented by Samantha Haywood.

MAMASKATCH by Darrel J. McLeod (Douglas &McIntyre)

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alta., Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life.

The fractured narrative of Mamaskatch mirrors Bertha’s attempts to reckon with the trauma and abuse she faced in her own life, and captures an intensely moving portrait of a family of strong personalities, deep ties and the shared history that both binds and haunts them.

Darrel J. McLeod is Cree from Treaty-8 territory in Northern Alberta. Before deciding to pursue writing, he worked as an educator, chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French literature and education from the University of British Columbia. He currently lives in Sooke, BC, and divides his time between writing and singing in a jazz band.

Darrel is represented by Carolyn Forde.