Nominated by:

Saint John Free Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Knopf Canada

The Lobster Kings

Alexi Zentner    

2016 Longlist

The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, this blessing comes with a curse: the loss of every first-born son. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island’s lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody’s three daughters, stands to inherit the crown. To do so, however, she must defend her island against meth dealers from the mainland, while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman. Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore, and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Alexi Zentner’s fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Slice Magazine, Orion Magazine and other publications. His short story Touch was featured in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2008 where it was chosen by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as a jury favourite. Touch and The Adjuster were also selected for “special mention” in the 2008 Pushcart Prize anthology. Alexi Zentner was born in Kitchener, Ontario, and currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife and two daughters.

Librarian’s Comments

The Lobster Kings fulfils the promise of author Alexi Zentner’s first novel. Zentner combines many skilfully developed elements, presenting the reader with that “rare tale that has everything you could possibly want – mystery, mythology, poetry, action and heart” (Alison Pick, author). In addition, the maritime setting speaks compellingly to both Canadian and American Eastern Seaboard sensibilities.

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