Atlantic acquires ‘unforgettable’ prize-winning Canadian novel The Break

14th June 2017

Atlantic Books and Allen & Unwin have jointly acquired UK, Australia and New Zealand rights to The Break by Katherena Vermette. Since its Canadian publication in 2016 it has become an international bestseller and has won and been shortlisted for several major Canadian literary prizes.  

Margaret Atwood has become Vermette’s biggest supporter, tweeting and promoting on her behalf. She has said that: ‘In The Break, the characters may be Métis, but the motivations and emotions are surely universal. This is an accomplished writer who will go far.’

Stella, a young Métis mother, lives with her family by the Break, an isolated strip of land on the edge of their small Canadian town. Glancing out of her window one winter’s evening Stella spots someone in trouble; horrified, she calls the police. But when they arrive, no one is there, scuff marks in the compacted snow the only sign anything may have happened. What follows is a heart-breaking and powerful tale of a community in crisis as the people connected to the victim, a young girl on the edge of a precipice, begin to lay bare their stories leading up to that fateful night.

Will Atkinson, Publisher at Atlantic Books says:

‘Katherena’s voice is beautiful, powerful, and her story is utterly unforgettable; a truly talented writer, we are delighted to have the opportunity to publish The Break in conjunction with our colleagues at Allen & Unwin.’

Jane Palfreyman, Publisher at Allen & Unwin says:

‘We’re thrilled to be publishing this extraordinary novel that takes us into the heart of a First Nations community that is reeling from the impact of sexual violence. Unflinching and deeply compassionate, this story of love and resilience will never let you go.’

Prizes and accolades won by The Break include: A Canada Reads 2017 finalist; 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist; 2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalist; National Post 99 Best Books of the Year; CBC Best Canadian Debut Novels 2016; Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016; Quill & Quire Book of the Year; Kobo Best Books of the Year; Walrus Magazine The Best Books of 2016; 49th Shelf Books of the Year.