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Christine Lai

Christine Lai grew up in Canada and currently lives in Vancouver. She lived in England for six years pursuing graduate studies that culminated in a PhD in English Literature from University College London.



Doubleday Canada, 2023.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In a ruinous country house in the now barren English countryside–decimated by heat and drought–and in a dusty library damaged by earthquake and floods, Penelope archives what remains of the estate’s once notable, now diminished, art collection. As she delves into the objects and images, she also keeps a diary of her final months in the dilapidated estate that has been her home for two decades and a refuge for those who have been displaced by disasters. Out of necessity, Penelope and her partner, Aidan, have sold the house and with its scheduled demolition comes this pressing task of building the archive. But with it also comes the impending arrival of Aidan’s brother, Julian, who will return to have one final look at his childhood home. Penelope suffered at the hands of Julian twenty-two years ago during a brief but violent relationship, and as his visit looms large over her, she finds herself unable to tamp down the past in her efforts to build a possible, if uncertain, future.

Awards and Honours

2023 Alcuin Award–Prose Fiction for excellence in book design (2nd prize) Design by Kate Sinclair


Publisher Penguin Random House Canada, owner of the Doubelday Canada imprint