Michael Kenyon

Michael Kenyon is the author of four books of poetry, seven of fiction, and four chapbooks. The Beautiful Children won the 2010 ReLit Award for best novel. Other work has been shortlisted for the ReLit Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Baxter Hathaway Prize (Cornell) in fiction, The Malahat Review Novella Prize, Prism international’s fiction contest (won twice), the Journey Prize, and the National and Western Magazine Awards. His work is concerned with form and style, but always strives to get in touch with the deepest human moments. Kenyon lives in Victoria, BC.




192 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available



The Beautiful Children

ISBN: 978-1-897235-47-8

A man wakes up in a hospital with one word in his head: Sapporo. He dimly recalls this as the place where he was raised, and it becomes his name and identity. Like an immigrant without language or memory he relies on his young son as guide and interpreter, but soon drifts away into what some might see as madness.

In Sapporo’s floating world, he is also Prospero, summoning the ancestors and channeling the lost dreams that gave way to the modern industrial era.

His son, meanwhile, has escaped to the city’s underworld. His laconic account of the anarchic, callous, tender tribe of street kids is beyond the scope of any realist fiction, yet compelling as a documentary and fiercely poetic.

Parallel to these worlds, and destined to reconnect them, is a young woman’s journey through what is indeed the Third World – as surreal in its poverty and shifting realities as anything in Sapporo’s visions or his son’s predations.

The Beautiful Children is a triumph of language and structure; it is also a haunting, and haunted, elegy upon innocence.

“Not only does Kenyon forge imaginative narrative paths, but also he has a compelling gift for language on a sentence level . . . Anyone who respects attempts to make fiction will be rewarded by reading Kenyon’s work.” — Candace Fertile, Malahat Review

  • Winner of the 2010 ReLit Award for Fiction


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