A New York Times Notable Book; a Barack Obama's end of year favorite of 2022; and the winner of Canada Reads
Kate Beaton's Ducks stunned the world with its unflinching honesty and candid vulnerability, cementing its place in the graphic novel canon alongside Maus, Persepolis, and Fun Home. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, young Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush--in the tradition of East Coasters seeking gainful employment when they can't find it in the homeland they love so dear. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands puts Beaton's natural cartooning prowess on display. Colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles are set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, Northern Lights, and Rocky Mountains. But as one of the few women among thousands of men working for the world's largest oil companies, the culture shock is palpable. It does not hit home until she moves to a spartan, isolated worksite for higher pay. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. For young Katie, her wounds may never heal. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is the first graphic novel to win Canada Reads, and was named Best Book of 2022 by The New Yorker, Time, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. One of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Books of the year, it was also named among the Best Graphic Novels of the Year by Forbes, The Globe and Mail and The Guardian.