Congratulations to Canadian Author Lawrence Hill whose recent release, The Illegal, has just been named the CBC Canada Reads 2016 Winner.

Lawrence Hill is most famously known for his 2007 critically acclaimed novel entitled, The Book of Negroes (in Canada), and published as Someone Knows My Name (outside of Canada). And if you haven’t already read this book. You really should. It’s superb.

I have yet to read The Illegal, but based on the official synopsis it sounds like I now have another book to add to my “To Read” pile. 

The Illegal – Official Synopsis

The Illegal, is the gripping story of Keita Ali, a refugee—like the many in today’s headlines—compelled to leave his homeland.

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.

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