Alan Cumyn Novelist

Alan Cumyn is the author of wide-ranging and often wildly different literary novels for children, young adults and adults. A two-time winner of the Ottawa Book Award, he has also had work shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, and the Trillium Award. He teaches through the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a past Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada. In 2016 he received the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Vicky Metcalf Award for body of work for young people.

AVAILABLE SOON! North to Benjamin, a new novel set in Dawson City, Yukon. 

Set against the stark and rugged beauty of the Yukon, this story is like a walk across thin ice. Each page brings Edgar that much closer to falling through. Only an old dog and an unlikely friend seem to understand him, but even they can’t fully grasp the extent of his desperation. If only he could tell them. If only. With the ghost of Jack London looking over his shoulder, Alan Cumyn’s book is a powerful exploration of how difficult it is to tell the truth, especially when the truth may bring everyone you love crashing down.” – Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath

Ferocious and tender, funny and heartfelt — going to the dogs never came with such a poignant, chilling but ultimately redeeming road map. — Tim Wynne-Jones, author of The Ruinous Sweep

Cumyn reaffirms the human mess that is the life many children know, and the allies in all forms that are their saving grace.  A heart thaw through and through.” Rita Williams-Garcia, author of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Far from a mere survival tale, this is a psychological thriller for sophisticated middle-grade readers… This gripping, suspenseful read with compelling characters and a spellbinding setting lures readers into the deep-cold night even as they long for a life-affirming sunrise. –Kirkus starred review

Alan Cumyn travelled north to Dawson thanks to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the Writers’ Trust of Canada. As well, he gratefully acknowledges funding from these other sources for a number of his novels over the years:

Canada Council for the Arts
OAC logo
City of Ottawa