Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1997 Women's Prize for Fiction Winner

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels


Publisher: Bloomsbury

Length: 294

About: Polish Jew escapes to Greece

Style: 1st person

Where: Greece (Zakynthos) & Canada

When: 1940s to 1990s



Publisher’s synopsis:

The stories of two men from different generations whose lives have been transformed by war. A young boy, Jakob Beer, is rescued from the mud of a buried Polish city during World War II and taken to an island in Greece by an unlikely saviour, the scientist/humanist Athos Roussos.





Blackness filled me, spread from the back of my head into my eyes as if my brain has been punctured. Spread from stomach to legs. I gulped and gulped, swallowing it whole. The wall filled with smoke. I struggled out and stared while the air caught fire.

I wanted to go to my parents, to touch them. But I couldn't, unless I stepped on their blood.

The soul leaves the body instantly, as if it can hardly wait to be free: my mother's face was not her own. My father was twisted with falling. Two shapes in the flesh-heap, his hands.






'Monumental Fugitive Pieces is the most important book I have read for forty years'

John Berger, Observer




Not so good:

Critics have been divided about the "poetic" manner of the novel's narration. One blogger to the book club website complains of the author "strangling the life out of her story" with her "overwrought metaphors".

John Mullan, Guardian 13/6/2009





About the author

Anne Michaels was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1958. Michaels attended Vaughan Road Academy and then later the University of Toronto, where she is an adjunct faculty in the Department of English.


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<1996> -  <1998>
















Page turner







Age guide: 15+





Novels by same author:



2007 film produced by Robert Lantos and directed by Jeremy Podeswa starring Stephen Dillane and Rade Serbedzija



















2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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