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Amanda Peters Triumphs with Carnegie Medal for Excellence 2024

Canadian Author Makes History with Poignant Novel “The Berry Pickers”

In a milestone moment for Canadian literature, Amanda Peters has etched her name in literary history as the first Canadian recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Excellence in 2024. Her captivating novel, “The Berry Pickers,” has garnered critical acclaim and widespread recognition, solidifying her position as a rising star in the literary firmament.

Carnegie Medal for Excellence: A Celebration of Literary Brilliance

The Carnegie Medal for Excellence, bestowed by the American Library Association, stands as a testament to exceptional works of fiction and nonfiction literature. This esteemed award honors authors whose works exhibit profound literary merit and resonate with readers’ hearts and minds. Winners are feted at the association’s annual conference and bestowed with a substantial cash prize, a testament to the transformative power of their storytelling.

The Berry Pickers: A Tale of Interconnected Secrets

Amanda Peters’ “The Berry Pickers” is a poignant and evocative novel that delves into the enigmatic disappearance of a four-year-old Mi’kmaq girl from the blueberry fields of Maine in the 1960s. Decades later, Norma, a young girl from an affluent family, embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets that her parents have long concealed. As their lives intertwine, the interconnected secrets of these two families gradually unfurl, shedding light on the complexities of human relationships and the enduring bonds of family.

Amanda Peters on Family, Grief, and Literature

In a heartfelt interview with CBC’s The Next Chapter, Amanda Peters eloquently articulates her insights on the universal experiences of grief and the fundamental importance of family. She emphasizes that Mi’kmaq families, much like families from all walks of life, share similar experiences of grief and emotional connections. Ultimately, she underscores the unwavering significance of family as the cornerstone of our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

Accolades and Recognition for The Berry Pickers

Beyond the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, “The Berry Pickers” has garnered widespread critical acclaim and recognition. It was a finalist for the prestigious 2023 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and lauded as one of CBC Books’ best fiction books of the year. These accolades serve as a testament to the exceptional quality and impact of Peters’ storytelling prowess.

Amanda Peters: A Rising Star in Canadian Literature

Amanda Peters, a proud member of the Glooscap First Nation, currently resides in the picturesque Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Her literary journey has seen her grace the pages of esteemed publications such as The Antigonish Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Dalhousie Review. Her talent was further recognized when she received the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Unpublished Prose and participated in the 2021 Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program, showcasing her exceptional promise as a rising literary star.

Praise for Amanda Peters’ Writing

Aryssa Damron, chair of the awards’ selection committee, eloquently captured the essence of Peters’ writing in a statement, describing her prose as “stunning” and her narrative as “evocative.” Damron commended Peters’ ability to captivate readers with the grief and longing experienced by her characters, highlighting the profound emotional impact of her storytelling.

Roxanna Asgarian’s Triumph in Nonfiction

In addition to Amanda Peters’ triumph in the fiction category, Roxanna Asgarian emerged as the winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in the nonfiction category for her book, “We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America World.” This meticulously researched work investigates the tragic Hart family murder-suicide of 2018, in which a couple drove off a cliff with their six adopted children in their vehicle. Asgarian’s book sheds light on this heart-wrenching incident, exploring the complexities of family dynamics and the devastating consequences of loss.

Embark on a Literary Journey with Amanda Peters

Dive into the poignant world of Amanda Peters’ “The Berry Pickers” and experience the interconnectedness of families, the enduring power of secrets, and the profound impact of grief and loss. Let her words transport you to the blueberry fields of Maine, where the past and present collide in a tapestry of emotions. Discover why “The Berry Pickers” has captivated readers and critics alike, earning Amanda Peters the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Excellence.


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