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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Finalist for the Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes

Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography

National best seller 

A slim but electrifying debut memoir about the preciousness and precariousness of queer Indigenous life. 

Opening with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life on the Driftpile First Nation, Billy-Ray Belcourt delivers a searing account of Indigenous life that’s part love letter, part rallying cry.

With the lyricism and emotional power of his award-winning poetry, Belcourt cracks apart his history and shares it with us one fragment at a time. He shines a light on Canada’s legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it. He revisits sexual encounters, ruminates on first loves and first loves lost, and navigates the racial politics of gay hookup apps. Among the hard truths he distills, the outline of a brighter future takes shape.

Bringing in influences from James Baldwin to Ocean Vuong, this book is a testament to the power of language—to devastate us, to console us, to help us grieve, to help us survive. Destined to be dog-eared, underlined, treasured, and studied for years to come, A History of My Brief Body is a stunning achievement from one of this generation’s finest young minds.

©2020 Billy-Ray Belcourt (P)2020 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

WINNER OF THE HUBERT EVANS NON-FICTION PRIZE

WINNER OF THE 2020-2021 ALCUIN DESIGN AWARD FOR NON-FICTION PROSE

FINALIST FOR THE JIM DEVA PRIZE FOR WRITING THAT PROVOKES

FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FOR GAY MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

One of Quill & Quire's 2020 Books of the Year 

“Displays a pervading lucidity, akin to dreaming while standing wide awake, feet firmly on the soil . . . [A] fascinating exploration of the impact of colonialism in all its ramifications.” Quill & Quire (starred)

A History of My Brief Body knocked me on my ass . . . These essays transcend genre and become something else entirely―a reliquary of self-love and becoming.” Buzzfeed

“Elegantly crafted . . . an urgently needed, unyielding book of theoretical and intimate strength.” Kirkus Reviews (starred) 

Featured Article: Finding the Canadian Voice That Speaks To You

The Canadian voice is a powerful, distinct and rich one. From the First Nations and those that have lived in Canada for generations to new immigrants, the tapestry that makes up Canada from Nova Scotia, to Toronto, Winnipeg to Vancouver and every city in between is a colourful combination of people, voices and stories. Whether you’re searching for a relatable experience or seeking to hear a new perspective of this country we love, we’ve compiled a list of 10 amazing audiobooks by Canadian authors to help you find the voice that speaks to you.

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One of those Life-changing books

This book was difficult and so worth reading. Searing and painful at times, I think it has educated me and forced me to think far outside my own experience. I will be thinking about it for a long time.

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