> Zed Book Club / ‘Learned by Heart’ Is a Tragic Love Story About the Tangled Lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine

Photo: Una Roulston

> Bookshelf

‘Learned by Heart’ Is a Tragic Love Story About the Tangled Lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine

In a Q&A about her new novel, Irish Canadian author Emma Donoghue talks about getting into the head of a mentally ill woman, writing sex scenes and using autobiographical details / BY Kisha Ferguson / August 24th, 2023

The year is 1805 and 14-year-old Eliza Raine — the orphaned daughter of a white British father and an Indian mother — has been uprooted from her home in Madras and deposited by her guardian at the Manor School for Young Ladies in York, England. Life at the dilapidated institution can be brutal; windows must stay closed, the heat is restricted and days are spent trying to adhere to an unimaginably long list of rules that trap the girls in an endless circle of punishment and penance. When the brilliant and rebellious Anne Lister, also 14, shows up, Raine’s staid, routine existence is turned completely upside down. Of Lister she says: “She’d have bitten into the fruit before the Serpent ever slithered to offer it up.” The two begin a secret and dangerous love affair after being forced to live together in the boarding school’s garret. 

With devastating detail, Learned by Heart serves up the soaring joy and bottomless aches of first love, the sloppy passions of girls discovering their bodies, and how love can build up a person’s spirit only to end up ripping it apart. The story of how Raine and Lister went from reluctant friends to lovers unfolds in two timelines: the first while they are together at the school and, 10 years later — told entirely through Raine’s increasingly erratic letters to Lister, written from an asylum — as the pair’s relationship is slowly revealed to be the cause of Raine’s undoing.


Emma Donoghue


Donoghue, the bestselling author of Room, The Wonder and Haven, is no stranger to historical fiction. And in Learned by Heart, backed by mountains of research, she imagines the early lives of Lister, whose exploits would later become the stuff of legend, and Raine, who, to this day, is still mostly unknown.

For inspiration, Donoghue dug deep into the journals of Lister, often referred to as “the first modern lesbian,” whose five million-word diaries (some of which are written in code) are the bread and butter of scholars and historians. Lister, often referred to as “Gentlemen Jack” for her manly appearance and predilection for only wearing black, was wonderfully portrayed in the 2019 BBC-TV series of the same name, but it was Raine’s story that most fascinated Donoghue, so the author used her imagination to bring what little is known about her into the light.

Donoghue spoke to Zed from her home in London, Ont., about the decades-long journey to bring this story to life, the responsibility that comes with fictionalizing historical figures and the challenge of writing a good sex scene.

Kisha Ferguson: I admit that when I first started reading the book, I didn’t know that it was based on a true story. But, honestly, it’s been a long time since a book broke my heart. The story is incredible. 

Emma Donoghue: I’m so, so touched to hear that.

KF: What fascinated you about the story of Eliza and Anne in the first place?

ED: I think I found the idea of exceptionality or oddity so interesting, because Anne Lister was very unusual in that she gloried in how different she was. In her diary, there are moments of self-consciousness, but mostly she’s like, ‘I am unique in the world.’ Eliza, in her letters, sounds much more conventionally girlish and afraid of conflict. And I thought, how interesting to mull over these two who were both oddballs in different ways and who ended up stuck together in this attic room. 

KF: It was so touching, too, when you had them say, “we invented love.” Their story has fascinated you for 25 years; almost the entire expanse of your writing career. How have your ideas about them changed over the course of time? 

ED: I held off on writing the book until I was sure which book I wanted to write, because there are many ways you could come at this. I suspect if I wrote this book earlier on, I would’ve been more focused on Anne Lister. But I’m more interested in Eliza now. I got more and more intrigued by Eliza’s perspective on Regency society and by the unspoken — what’s not in the records. So, even when I began writing the novel, I thought I would probably toggle between their two points of view, because I love doing that in fiction. But I found that the Anne Lister sections were not interesting. In terms of being in their minds, it was all Eliza. 

KF: In your extensive research, was there anything that you came across that you didn’t feel like you could put in the book, or that you chose to exclude?

ED: I have not represented the four additional decades that Eliza would spend in those asylums. Anne regularly visited her, so there’s lots of little references, like “dropped by to see Eliza, still no better, refused to speak to me,” or “was in a straight jacket.” I don’t know how to make fiction out of those four decades. So all I could try to do was represent Eliza in the asylum at the beginning, still semi-rational. With all my historical fiction, I give huge author’s notes at the end, because I want to add to the communal project of digging up these obscure lives. I decided to take a very narrow slice of the year they met, and then 10 years later to show Eliza in the asylum. But it doesn’t begin to cover her long life.

KF: Does that mean there could potentially be a sequel to Learned by Heart?

ED: I’m not sure. It’s a genuine puzzle to me. How you represent the inner life of somebody who’s mad. I think one thing I was trying to capture in the fictional letters that I wrote in the 1815 sections were the sheer surges of emotion. There are times when Eliza is very sort of grandiose and slightly megalomaniac. And there are times when she’s very self-hating and depressed. But the experience of somebody in a straight jacket … it might be beyond my reach. 

KF: The way you captured the manor so vividly, it was very much its own character in the book. You felt the cold and the damp and the absolute repressiveness there. 

ED: It’s the balance between happy and sad. The school is, in many ways, a bit like a prison, and there are some bad times there, but there are joyful times there. I’m not sure where to find the joy in the asylum. And, of course, on many of these topics, I felt like I’m writing way beyond my own experience; in everything from writing a woman of colour to writing somebody in the throes of mental illness. I’m used to the challenge of writing about somebody centuries before my life, but in other ways I kind of get the willies about ‘am I gonna mess this up?’ So, I really wrote this book in a spirit of, ‘I’m doing my best, but please let me get her right.’ I feel a real ethical obligation when I’m talking about a real person like Eliza Raine, who has been so actively forgotten.

KF: How heavy is the responsibility to get it right?

ED: There are a lot of points where you have to make some kind of judgement call. For instance, some people would very much blame Anne Lister and say she broke her girlfriend’s heart and left her in the asylum, or even perhaps stuck her in the asylum. And from all my meticulous research, I would have to say there’s no evidence that anybody put Eliza in the asylum. She went there voluntarily. But, of course, I’m showing Anne Lister moving on with her life and getting over it in a way that Eliza couldn’t. There are moments when my judgement might seem to fall one way or another, and I really tremble over these moments. I never want to create some idealized portrait. But, I also want to really honour these dead people. 

KF: So how do you move beyond that?

ED: You just do more work. It’s no accident that this one took me so long to write. I kept waiting to see if more would emerge about the facts of Eliza Raine’s life. I didn’t want to wholesale invent Eliza’s past, because it’s too important to me. And in the absence of a full biography, her life is an important thing that I don’t want to just casually fictionalize. It was quite delicate work of working within the known facts, like, I suppose, patching a very tattered cloth.

KF: If Anne Lister didn’t exist in real life, I think you would have to invent her. What do you think of the real-life Lister?

ED: I’m charmed by her, overall. I find her qualities quite endearing, because she’s so brilliant and self-educated, and high speed in every way: walked fast, wrote fast, did everything fast. It is very attractive, when combined with how vulnerable she could be. The fact that, in her diary, she’s fretting over things like her shabby clothes and will her girlfriend go off and marry a man. But then she’s outrageously snobbish and judgmental. I have to admit, I gave her a couple of incidents from my own teenage years. I was nicknamed Dictionary Donoghue, for instance, so I decided Ann Lister would be nicknamed Lexicon Lister. Or the moment when she calls her fellow students ignorami. I, on my first day in secondary school, in a jokey way, used the word ignorami and I never lived it down. With historical fiction, you quite often use autobiographical material.

KF: Would you say you could relate to one of them more than the other?

ED: Probably to Ann Lister more easily, but that made Eliza so interesting to me. I found her much more psychologically mysterious. I’ve never been to a therapist. I’m very consistently happy and energetic and always writing or something. And so Eliza’s much murkier world of ups and downs and melancholy and nostalgia and regret and longing, that was more unfamiliar to me. I’m much more intrigued by the challenge of getting into the head of somebody who’s really not me. 

KF: Let’s talk about the sex scenes in the book. They’re beautifully written. And there was that one line: “… the varieties of stickiness, the hard push of velvet to bone.” I don’t think I’ve really ever read something in fiction that doesn’t make me cringe. How hard are sex scenes to write?

ED: Oh, they’re so hard. They’re so hard. You go over them three or four times, whereas in another scene you might just draft once and it’s fine. The velvet and bone reference, I’m sure that’s influenced by a May Sarton poem about sex in old age. I don’t put sex scenes in all my books. But, in this case, it’s completely relevant because it’s this whole new world opening up. And also, if they are running risks, we have to see what’s the motivation, especially for someone like Eliza, who’s more trying to follow convention. We need to see her pulled across that line.

KF: Both The Wonder and Room were adapted into films. Can you see this book being adapted for the big screen?

ED: I’d be extremely open to that. But every film is a collaboration, that’s one thing I love about writing for film. Unlike the world of fiction where I pick every word, film is shaped by those you choose to work with. In a spirit of collaboration, I can easily imagine a Learned by Heart film. Frankly, it has astonished me that Eliza Raine has not been written about in fiction until now. There are so many people making up fictional characters in something like Bridgerton, and I’m thinking, ‘Eliza Raine is right there. Why is nobody taking an interest?’ 

KF: Why do you think that is?

ED: It could be that Anne Lister studies have been its own little kind of cluster. But quite a lot of attention has been paid to Anne Lister’s other girlfriends who were far less interesting in terms of their position in British societies. It could be people, like myself, not feeling qualified. Or, maybe it’s a sort of tentativeness. Anne Lister studies have been full of white people like me. So maybe there’s been a kind of a feeling of like, ‘Ooh, don’t know how to write about Eliza.’ And, you know, that’s still true. I wouldn’t say I’m the most qualified at all. I just really wanted there to be a book about her.



Alice Munro, One of Canada’s Literary Masters, Dies at 92Alice Munro's career spanned over four decades, during which time she earned a multitude of literary awards, including a Nobel Prize nearing the end of her writing career. 

American writer V. V. Ganeshananthan wins the US$150,000 Carol Shields Prize for FictionHer novel, 'Brotherless Night,' was chosen over the work of four finalists, including 'Birnam Wood' by Eleanor Catton

2024 Amazon Canada First Novel Award Shortlist AnnouncedThe award, which was founded in 1976, offers a $60,000 prize for the winner.

Three Canadian Authors Shortlisted for the US$150,000 Carol Shields Prize for FictionClaudia Dey, Eleanor Catton and Janika Oza are finalists for the largest cash prize celebrating American and Canadian women writers

Donald Sutherland, 88, to Detail His Journey to Hollywood Fame in Long-Awaited MemoirThe Canuck screen legend's first-ever autobiography will hit Canadian bookshelves on Nov. 12.

Camilla Leads Miniature Book Initiative to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of the Queen’s Dolls’ HouseThe miniature book collection includes handwritten tomes by Sir Tom Stoppard, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Ben Okri and other well-known authors

2024 Giller Prize: Noah Richler, Kevin Chong and Molly Johnson Among Jury MembersAuthor Noah Richler is chairing the jury for this year's Giller Prize, an award's body his father literary icon Mordecai Richler helped launch in 1994.

Queen Camilla to Offer Weekly Reading Recommendations in New Queen’s Reading Room PodcastThe Queen's Reading Room Podcast will feature Her Majesty's book picks as well as literary discussions with authors and celebrities every week.

2023 Booker Prize: Irish Writer Paul Lynch Wins For Dystopian ‘Prophet Song’Canadian Booker Prize jury chair Esi Edugyan called the novel a "a triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave."

Sarah Bernstein’s ‘Study for Obedience’ Wins 2023 Scotiabank Giller PrizeThe author, who gave birth to a daughter 10 days ago, accepted the award remotely from her home in the Scottish Highlands

Governor General’s Literary Awards: Anuja Varghese’s ‘Chrysalis’ Among This Year’s WinnersEach of the 14 writers, illustrators and translators will receive a prize of $25,000

Giller Prize Winner Suzette Mayr Among Finalists Shortlisted for 2023 Governor General’s Literary AwardsThe 14 winners, who will each receive a prize of $25,000, will be announced Nov. 8

Five Authors Shortlisted for This Year’s $100,000 Scotiabank Giller PrizeDionne Irving and Kevin Chong are among the finalists who "probe what it means to be human, to survive, and to be who we are"

Norway’s Jon Fosse Wins Nobel Literature Prize for Giving “Voice to the Unsayable”The author's work has been translated into more than 40 languages, and there have been more than 1,000 different productions of his plays.

Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist Recognizes 12 Authors Who Demonstrate “the Power of Human Imagination”The 2023 longlist includes the prize's 2005 winner David Bergen and debut novelist Deborah Willis. 

Duke and Duchess of Sussex Buy Film Rights to Canadian Author Carley Fortune’s ‘Meet Me at the Lake’Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have purchased the movie rights to the bestselling romantic novel, which was published in May this year.

Booker Prize Longlist ‘Defined by its Freshness’ as Nominees RevealedEsi Edugyan, chair of the 2023 judges, said each of the 13 novels "cast new light on what it means to exist in our time."

Barack Obama Releases His 2023 Summer Reading ListThe list includes the latest novel by Canadian-born New Zealand author Eleanor Catton.

David Suzuki Takes Inspiration From His Own Grandchildren for New Kid’s Book ‘Bompa’s Insect Expedition’The book features Suzuki and two of his grandchildren exploring the insect population in their own backyard.

Milan Kundera, Author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, Dies at 94Kundera won global accolades for the way he depicted themes and characters that floated between the mundane reality of everyday life and the lofty world of ideas.

Cormac McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Dark Genius of American Literature, Dead at 89McCarthy won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 novel 'The Road.'

Remembering the Life and Loves of Literary Bad Boy Martin AmisThe legendary British author has died at 73. His absence will be keenly felt, but Amis leaves behind a book shelf’s worth of novels, including 'London Fields', 'Money' and 'Success', filled with shambolic anti-heroes raising a finger at society. 

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau to Publish Two Books Related to Mental Health and Wellness With Penguin Random House CanadaThe upcoming releases include a wellness book for adults and a picture book for children, which will roll out over the next two years.

Queen Camilla Celebrated Her Love of Books by Having Some Embroidered on Her Coronation GownThe Queen's coronation gown also featured tributes to her children, grandchildren and rescue dogs embroidered into it.

Better Late Than Never: Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s Unpublished Novel Set for Release in 2024'En Agosto Nos Vemos' or 'We'll See Each Other in August' was deemed by the late author's family to be too important to stay hidden

End of an Era: Eleanor Wachtel leaves CBC Radio’s ‘Writers & Company’ After More Than Three Decades on the AirAfter a career interviewing what she describes as the "finest minds in the world," the long-time radio host says she's ready to begin a new chapter.

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day Features Deals, Contests and ReadingsOn Saturday, every book purchased at an indie store qualifies you to enter the Book Lovers Contest, with a chance to win gift cards worth up to $1,000

Translation Project Will Bring Literature From the South Asian Continent to English-Speaking AudiencesThe SALT project aims to translate and publish 40 works by authors from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

The Book Thief: An Italian Man’s Guilty Plea Ends a Caper That Puzzled the Literary World for YearsFilippo Bernardini’s elaborate phishing scam netted 1,000 unpublished manuscripts by prominent authors including Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan

The Late Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison Is Honoured with an American StampThe Obamas and Oprah Winfrey pay tribute to the writer whose poetic interpretations of the African American experience gained a world-wide audience

Five Canadian Writers Make the Long List for the Inaugural Carol Shields Prize for FictionThe US$150,000 English-language literary award for female and nonbinary writers redresses the inequality of women in the publishing world

The Furry Green Grump is Back in a Sequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”Dr. Seuss Enterprises will publish “How the Grinch Lost Christmas!” in September

Chris Hadfield to Publish a Sequel to His Blockbuster Debut, “The Apollo Murders,” on Oct. 10"The Defector” brings the Cold War intrigue from space to Earth as the Soviets and Americans race to develop fighter jets

Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ Continues to Break Worldwide RecordsThe book also seems to have put a dent in the popularity of members of the Royal Family — including the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Prince Harry’s Memoir Breaks U.K. Sales Record On First Day of ReleaseThe publisher of the new memoir, 'Spare", says it had sold 400,000 copies so far across hardback, e-book and audio formats.

Barack Obama’s Favourite Books of 2022The former U.S. president’s 13 titles include Canadians Emily St. John Mandel and Kate Beaton, as well as tomes from Michelle Obama, George Saunders and Jennifer Egan

Here are the 5 Books on Bill Gates’ Holiday Reading ListThe billionaire philanthropist is giving hundreds of copies to little libraries around the world

Sheila Heti and Eli Baxter Among 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award WinnersToronto writer Sheila Heti took home the fiction award for 'Pure Colour,' a novel the GG peer assessment committee called "a work of genius."

Suzette Mayr Wins $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for ‘The Sleeping Car Porter’The 2022 Giller Prize jury called Mayr's novel "alive and immediate — and eerily contemporary."

Writers’ Trust of Canada Awards: Authors Nicholas Herring, Dan Werb Nab Top PrizesThe Writers' Trust of Canada awards amounted to a combined monetary prize value of $270,000.

Bob Dylan Releases ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song,’ a Book of Essays Dissecting 66 Influential SongsIn his new book, Bob Dylan offers up both critique and historical insight into various musical recordings of the last century by a variety of popular artists.

Prince Harry’s Memoir ‘Spare’ Will Be Published in January 2023The long-awaited memoir will tell with "raw unflinching honesty" Prince Harry's journey from "trauma to healing", his publisher said on Thursday.

Sri Lankan Author Shehan Karunatilaka Wins 2022 Booker PrizeKarunatilaka won the prestigious prize on Monday for his second novel ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’, about a dead war photographer on a mission in the afterlife.

Canadian Council for the Arts Reveals Governor General’s Literary Awards FinalistsThe finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards spotlight books in both the English and French language, as well as translated works.

New Penguin Random House Award Named After Michelle Obama Will Honour High School WritersMichelle Obama Award for Memoir will provide a $10,000 college scholarship to a graduating public school senior based on their autobiographical submission.

French Author Annie Ernaux, 82, Becomes First French Woman to Win Nobel Prize for LiteratureThe author said, of winning, that "I was very surprised ... I never thought it would be on my landscape as a writer."

Hilary Mantel, Award-Winning British Author of ‘Wolf Hall’ Trilogy, Dies at 70Wolf Hall, published in 2009, and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, released three years later, both won the Booker Prize, an unprecedented win for two books in the same trilogy and making Mantel the first woman to win the award twice.

Prince William “Cannot Forgive” Prince Harry, According to ‘The New Royals’ Author Katie NichollPrince William “just cannot forgive his brother,” according to Katie Nicholl, author of 'The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.'

Five Finalists Announced for Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for NonfictionThe winner — to be announced on November 2 — will take home the annual $60,000 prize.

Peter Straub, Bestselling American Horror Writer, Dies at 79Friend and co-author Stephen King has said the author's 1979 book, "Ghost Story," is his favourite horror novel.

Rawi Hage, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Sheila Heti Make the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Long ListThe jury read 138 books to choose 14 titles for the long list, one of which will win the $100,000 prize, one of the richest in Canadian literature

Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.

Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.

Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.

Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”

Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956

Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."

The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.

American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history

Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."

New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.

Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.

Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."

European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."

Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.

Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.

Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.

Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro

“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.

Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories

Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel

South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 

Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events

Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards

Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde

Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 

Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations

Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


Sign Up for the Weekly Book Club Newsletter