Monday, 15 December 2014

Kwe: Standing With Our Sisters



This year, due to circumstances beyond their control, the Revue will attempt to fill the largest room in its history for a “star-studded” charity event to raise awareness for missing and murdered aboriginal women, which will also serve as the launch of a significant new anthology featuring many of the country’s finest writers. It is the most ambitious – and important – show in the Revue’s history. “We’ve never done anything quite like this before,” Collett says. ...

On Thursday, at the Basement Revue, Boyden will launch Kwe: Standing With Our Sisters, an anthology featuring the work of more than 50 writers, musicians, artists and activists. (“Kwe” is Anishinaabe for “woman” or “life-giver,” explains Boyden.) Contributors include Ondaatje, Atwood, Thomas King, Sherman Alexie, Gord Downie, Michael Crummey and Tanya Tagaq Gillis. The 100-page book is published by Penguin Canada, which covered the entire cost of production. A limited number of print editions will sell for $10, while a digital version, available from all major online retailers beginning Dec. 16, will cost $2.99. All proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International’s No More Stolen Sisters project.

“This anthology came from my absolute sadness, shock, anger and horror that this is going on and nobody’s really speaking about it,” Boyden says. The fact so many people responded to his call, he says, “gives me great confidence and faith in where we’re going as a nation.”

link to pre-order

Press release:
Penguin Releases Limited-Edition Anthology Edited by Joseph Boyden, Supporting Amnesty International’s No More Stolen Sisters

Monday, December 15, 2014—Penguin Canada is pleased to announce the publication of Kwe: Standing With Our Sisters, a 100-page anthology edited by Joseph Boyden, featuring new writing and original artwork from more than fifty contributors, including Sherman Alexie, Margaret Atwood, Gord Downie, Julie Flett, Tom King, Lee Maracle, Yann Martel, Michael Ondaatje, John Ralston Saul, and Tanya Tagaq Gillis. Conceived by Boyden as a way to raise awareness of the crisis facing Canada’s First Nations women, all proceeds from the sale of Kwe will be donated to Amnesty International’s No More Stolen Sisters initiativeThe anthology will be available in digital format for $2.99 via major online retailers beginning December 16. A limited print edition will be available at The Basement Revue in Toronto on December 18 and via the Amnesty International Book Club (amnestybookclub.ca) in January for $10 each.

“The idea for this book was born in November, from feelings of deep frustration, anger, and sorrow in the wake of yet another violent assault upon a First Nations woman,” says Boyden. “It came together quickly; within a week of the call going out, we had dozens of submissions from writers and artists eager to support the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, artists who wanted to lend their voice. This is a call for action. We're part of a rising chorus in this nation that demands that the federal government respond in a real way. I hope this collection draws much needed attention to the crisis and shows we can act swiftly when we put our minds to it.”

“I’m proud to stand alongside Joseph and Kwe’s contributors in support of Amnesty International’s No More Stolen Sisters initiative,” says Nicole Winstanley, President and Publisher of Penguin Canada. “Violence against Canada’s Indigenous women cannot be ignored. I hope this project will inspire others to raise their voice and speak out against the horrific crimes that continue occur all too often in our country.”

Penguin Canada is contributing all production and print costs to the anthology.

About Amnesty International
Founded in 1961, Amnesty International is a global movement of more than three million supporters, members, and activists in over 150 countries who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Our vision is for all people to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. Violence against women is unacceptable in every instance. In the case of Indigenous women and girls, the specific patterns of violence, and the disproportionate numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, require a comprehensive and coordinated response. Beginning with the landmark 2004 Stolen Sisters report, Amnesty International has stood alongside Indigenous women’s organizations across Canada in supporting calls for a public inquiry and  a national plan of action in keeping with the scale and severity of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

About Penguin Canada
Penguin Canada (penguinrandomhouse.ca), founded in 1974 and celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is one of Canada’s pre-eminent trade publishers, publishing and distributing a wide range of literary, thought-provoking fiction, non-fiction, lifestyle, and children’s books. Penguin Canada’s imprints include Viking, Hamish Hamilton, Allen Lane, Penguin, Portfolio Penguin, Puffin, and Razorbill. Under these imprints, Penguin Canada proudly publishes an award-winning list of Canadian authors, including Scotiabank Giller Prize winners Joseph Boyden, Will Ferguson, and Johanna Skibsrud, as well as Stuart McLean, Bobby Orr, Guy Gavriel Kay, Eric Walters, John Ralston Saul, and Adrienne Clarkson. Penguin Canada also publishes and distributes a number of celebrated international authors, including Philip Roth, Zadie Smith, John le Carré, Khaled Hosseini, Kathryn Stockett, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Ken Follett.

For more information, please contact

Beth Lockley
VP, Marketing & Publicity
Penguin Canada

Stephen Myers
Marketing and Publicity Manager, Hamish Hamilton
Penguin Canada

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