All of Us In Our Own Lives reviewed in Quill and Quire

“readers… will be sufficiently rewarded with a vibrant picture of Nepal in a novel that has an original and timely take on our globalized world.”—Kerry Clare

You can read the full story here.


All of Us In Our Own Lives featured on All Lit Up

This debut fiction isn’t strictly a first novel for author Manjushree Thapa, but her first time as a Canadian author and her first published by a Canadian indie press. A deeply moving novel about the lives of women and girls in Nepal and the ethics of international aid,  All of Us in Our Own Lives (Freehand Books) gets our readerly attention.

You can read the full story here.


Homes featured on CBC Books

Jane van Koeverden speaks with Winnie Yeung and Abu Bakr al Rabeeah:

“By telling stories to Ms. Yeung, I learned a lot of stuff that happened to me that I didn’t realize. For example, not being able to go out for soccer or with friends — that taught me how to be a patient person. Not having things I wanted because of the circumstances, that taught me to enjoy the small things I had.” —Abu Bakr al Rabeeah

“The biggest challenge was to tell a story in Abu Bakr’s voice. I thought it would be more immediate and more relatable if it was from the personal point of view. But then I realized, ‘Oh no, I have to write as a 14-year-old Arabic boy.’ That was tough. I knew that by the way Abu Bakr was speaking to me in English that wasn’t his true voice because he was struggling with the language. Though I could still get his spirit and his warmth and his energy that way, I still had some weird requests for him. For example, I would ask him to talk to someone on the phone in Arabic, just to hear what he sounded like in his own mother tongue. From that I could capture his rhythm and put it on the page.” —Winnie Yeung

You can read the full interview here.


Twin Studies reviewed in the Vancouver Sun

Tom Sandborn reviews Keith Maillard’s Twin Studies in the Vancouver Sun:

“[T}his new fiction deepens and extends the fascination with power, gender, death and beauty that has characterized all his earlier work, and it finds the author working at the peak of his considerable talents as he explores the uncanny elements of the twin experience.Twin Studies tells a set of intertwined stories about three sets of twins and their families and friends, lovers and antagonists. It is a work of social realism, ornamented with the closely observed and telling details of costume, make up and consumer goods seen in the author’s earlier work.”

You can read the full review here.


Homes: A Refugee Story in the Edmonton Journal

Homes: A Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction this week! In her last column for the Edmonton Journal, new Senator Paula Simons chatted with Abu Bakr and Winnie about receiving the nomination and about the journey the book has gone through.

Although Abu Bakr gets top billing on the book jacket, it was Yeung who crafted the book based on her extensive interviews with her student and his family. The words are hers. The truth, she insists, is his. . . “It’s pretty surreal. Never, ever, in all my big hopes for this book did I think that this could happen. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.”

You can read the full column here.


Homes: A Refugee Story shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction

Congratulations to Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung, whose Homes: A Refugee Story is a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction!

Congratulations to all of the finalists:

  • Dead Reckoning by Carys Cragg
  • The Wife’s Tale by Aida Edemariam
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
  • Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod
  • Homes by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung

The Governor General’s Literary Awards will be presented in Ottawa on November 28.


Freehand wins at the 2018 Alberta Book Publishing Awards

Freehand was honoured to take home three prizes at the 2018 Alberta Book Publishing Awards this weekend:

  • Alberta Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award for Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt
  • Alberta Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award for The Unravelling by Clem and Olivier Martini
  • Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence to Rosemary Nixon for her work with Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists! You can see the full list of finalists here.


What the Soul Doesn’t Want shortlisted for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

Congratulations to Lorna Crozier, whose poetry collection What the Soul Doesn’t Want is a finalist for the 2018 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize!

The finalists are:

The award will be presented at the Victoria Book Prizes on October 17. Tickets to the gala are available at


Keith Maillard in Quill and Quire

In their Fall 2018 preview, Quill and Quire calls Keith Maillard “one of this country’s consummate stylists . . . Twin Studies is a magnum opus that examines issues of gender fluidity, sexuality, class, and family dynamics.” The September issue of Quill and Quire also offers a profile of Maillard: he’s “an unabashed advocate of lengthy, complex novels. ‘If I like a book, I like it to be big, because I like to go into the world it creates and live there awhile.'”

In the profile, Maillard also discusses how he sees his role as a creative writing instructor, his own self-identification, and the future of writing in Canada. Twin Studies will be available in September.


All Lit Up interview with Ali Bryan

Ali Bryan’s The Figgs is the book club pick for August over on All Lit Up (head on over to get 15%!). This week, Ali chatted with All Lit Up about writing without an outline, juggling families of five (both real families and fictional families), and a personal realization about managing expectations. You can read the full interview here.