In the Arctic Circle village of Iqaluit, known as the Las Vegas of the North, Rosaire Nicolet is found dead in a seedy hotel room rented by a stripper. Rosaire's younger brother Ambroise arrives in town to identify the body. Ambroise worshiped his brother and wants answers. While investigators suspect a crime of passion, Ambroise has a very different theory. Polynya delves into the mysterious and poetic polar world of Baffin Island, where a cast of characters live on the margins and everyone is not necessarily to be believed.
Mélanie Vincelette is already a respected figure of the Quebec literary world. Polynya was short listed for the Governor General's Award for French—language fiction in 2011 and was voted the best book of 2011 by La Presse. Her first novel, Crimes horticoles (Horticultural Crimes) was published in 2006 and won the Anne Hébert Prize. In 2006, she won the Radio Canada Book Award. Vincelette lives in Montreal.
Literary translator Sheila Fischman has translated more than 125 Quebec novels by some of the province's most prominent authors, including Michel Tremblay, Roch Carrier, Anne Hébert, and Jacques Poulin. She has received a host of honours for her work, including the Governor General's Literary Award, for which she has been a finalist 14 times, two Canada Council Translation Prizes, and two Félix—Antoine Savard Awards from Columbia University. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2000 and the Ordre national du Québec in 2008, and this year received the prestigious Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts for lifetime achievement and ongoing contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada.
Donald Winkler has been a translator of Quebec literature since the 1980s. In 1994, 2011, and 2013 he won the Governor General's Award for French to English translation, and has been a finalist for the prize on three other occasions. Born in Winnipeg in 1940, from 1967 to 1995 he was a film director and writer at the National Film Board of Canada. Winkler's translation of Samuel Archibald's short story collection, Arvida, was a finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize.