Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn (Arsenal Pulp Press)
This is the debut novel from Dawn, a Vancouver-based writer, performance artist and filmmaker who was voted Xtra Vancouver’s Hero of the Year in 2008. It tells the story of teenage runaway Little, who finds herself in Sub Rosa, a dark, underground society populated by ghosts, magicians, missing girls and would-be johns.
Room by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins)
This extraordinary novel by London, Ontario, writer Donoghue keeps winning awards around the world. It is narrated by Jack, a five-year-old who was born in an 11-foot-square shed and has lived there ever since with his mother. His unique perspective on a horrific situation is both poignant and funny.
Inferno: A Poet’s Novel by Eileen Myles (OR Books)
Described as “the rock star of modern poetry” by Bust magazine, Myles is an American poet, essayist and performer. There are elements of her own life (including the protagonist’s name) in this story of a young female writer’s journey from Boston to bohemian New York City, circa 1968.