2016 Toronto Book Award Winner
Harriet is 11 going on 30. Determined, resourceful, and a little reckless, Harriet tries to navigate the clueless adults around her, and attempts to fathom her complicated feelings for her brother Irwin, who suffers from hydrocephalus. On the other hand, Irwin’s love for Harriet is not conflicted at all. But Irwin himself must untangle the web of the human heart.
What the judges said . . .
Driven by the wry and wrenching voice of eleven-year-old Harriet, Cordelia Strube’s On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light, pitches us full-tilt into the heart of human relationships. In spite of hapless adults failing her on every front, Harriet charts her own course with the materials at hand. Like her scavenged-object art projects, her sensibility manifests the collision of absurdity, pain, and resilience in her own family portrait. This singularly moving novel faces both the depths and the heights without flinching.
Cordelia Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Alex & Zee, Teaching Pigs to Sing, and Lemon. Winner of the CBC literary competition and a Toronto Arts Foundation Award, she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Prix Italia, and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Excerpt from On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light
When Harriet’s parents divorced, her mother went back to work at the bank until her breakdown. Harriet loves the bank and plans to work in one when she grows up. She craves the quiet, and the soft sound of bills being counted, the clicking and sliding of metal drawers, the tapping of keyboards, the dependability of safety deposit boxes, the finality of stamp pads. Everybody’s polite at the bank and nobody shouts or swears.
Excerpted from On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light by Cordelia Strube. Copyright © 2016 Cordelia Strube. Published by ECW Press. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.