and "Books in Canada" Announce Finalists for 2006 First Novel Award

    SEATTLE and TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - ( and "Books
in Canada" today announced the finalists for the 30th annual First Novel
Award, a prestigious Canadian literary award that recognizes the outstanding
achievement of a first-time novelist.
    "The First Novel Award has become a gauge for Canadian literary culture
and the writers who will play a central role in defining it," said Julie
Todaro, director of "On the heels of the fifth anniversary of, we are proud to be a part of this award's 30th year recognizing the
talents of emerging novelists who will excite the minds of readers for
generations to come."
    The six nominees for the 2006 First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by
author, are:

    -   "The Law of Dreams" by Peter Behrens, House of Anansi Press (Canadian
        author, lives in Maine)

    -   "The Uninvited Guest" by John Degen, Nightwood Editions (author lives
        in Toronto, ON)

    -   "Stolen" by Annette Lapointe, Anvil Press (author lives in Saskatoon,
        SK and Winnipeg, MB)

    -   "Lullabies for Little Criminals" by Heather O'Neill, Harper Collins
        (author lives in Montreal, QC)

    -   "Empress of Asia" by Adam Lewis Schroeder, Raincoast Books (author
        lives in Penticton, BC)

    -   "Certainty" by Madeleine Thien, McClelland & Stewart (author lives in
        Québec City, QC)

    The winner will be announced at the annual First Novel Award event in
October in Toronto. The winner will receive $7,500 - the largest Canadian
prize for a first novel. All finalists will receive a $750 gift certificate
redeemable at
    The finalists were selected by Nancy Wigston, a prominent literary critic
and freelance writer for more than 25 years. She holds a PhD in English from
the University of Toronto and has been contributing reviews and interviews to
"Books in Canada" since the mid-1980s.
    "Nancy Wigston is not only an accomplished writer in her own right, but a
well-respected literary critic who brought an incredible amount of experience
and rigor to the shortlist selection of this year's crop of debut novels,"
said Olga Stein, editor of "Books in Canada". "Wigston is yet another
prominent judge in a long line of First Novel Award judges who have
endeavoured to showcase the works of writers demonstrating great promise."
    Since 1976, the First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of
Canada's most beloved novelists. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje
(1976), Joan Barfoot (1978), Joy Kogawa (1981), W.P. Kinsella (1982), Nino
Ricci (1990), Rohinton Mistry (1991), Shyam Selvadurai (1994), Anne Michaels
(1996), Margaret Gibson (1997), Andre Alexis (1998), Alan R. Wilson and David
Macfarlane (co-winners, 1999), Eva Stachniak (2000), Michael Redhill (2001),
Mary Lawson (2002), Michel Basilières (2003), Colin McAdam (2004) and Joseph
Boyden (2005).
    More information about the 2006 First Novel Award shortlist can be found
in the Volume 36, No. 4 issue of "Books in Canada" or at

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    Forward-Looking Statements

    This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from
management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and
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proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality,
commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign
exchange rates, system interruption, significant amount of indebtedness,
inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More
information about factors that potentially could affect's financial
results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2006, and all subsequent filings.

For further information:

For further information: Margaret Antkowski, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(416) 848-1392,

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