• Debut Novel from Douglas & McIntyre

    The Heaviness of Things That Float

Diana Gabaldon

Author of Outlander series

"[Manuel's writing is] astonishing in its intimacy, delicate complexity and sense of compassion."

Shaena Lambert

Author of Oh, My Darling and Radiance

"In this beautifully written novel, Jennifer Manuel has woven a fascinating study of being an outsider in a First Nations community, of longing to belong, of what can be seen by non-indigenous eyes, and what crucial pieces of knowledge slip through these cracks, I was moved and riveted as Manuel played with layers of the past and built her story to a breathtaking conclusion. Most of all, my heart went out to Bernadette Perkal, the book's difficult, thoughtful, insightful yet blindered heroine."

Darrel J. McLeod

Cree author, educator, and a former First Nations' delegate to the UN

"A powerful narrative voice of an outsider convinced she belongs in this imaginary but very real indigenous community. Time, human need, and self-delusion--both personal and cultural--conspire in what will be a valuable resource in our national discussion on reconciliation."

Tracy Sherlock

Vancouver Sun

"Manuel's writing is revelatory. It carries implicit wisdom about the tension between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people... [it] is a remarkable novel, one that is deeply of our time and place in BC and Canada in this time of truth and reconciliation."

Upcoming Events

April 13, 2016: Book Launch, Duncan, Old Firehouse Wine Bar (with guest, Tricia Dower) @7:00PM

April 18, 2016: Book Launch, Vancouver, The Book Warehouse, Main Street (with Tricia Dower and Elee Kraljii Gardiner) @7:00PM

April 22, 2016: Reading at Surrey Muse, Central Surrey Library Branch @ 5:30PM

May 12, 2016: Reading with Rachael Preston at The Mulberry Bush Bookstore, Parksville @7:00PM

October, 2016: Whistler Writers Festival

This summer I will be travelling through the Kootenays, the Okanagan, and the Peace River area for readings. I will also be conducting a series of writing workshops. Watch for more information, or email me: jenniferlynnmanuel at gmail.com.

If you are looking for an interview, please contact my publicist, Sam Markham: samm at harbourpublishing.com

 Heaviness Novel

From the back cover:

Jennifer Manuel skilfully depicts the lonely world of Bernadette, a woman who has spent the last forty years living alone on the periphery of a remote West Coast First Nations reserve, serving as a nurse for the community. This is a place where truth and myth are deeply intertwined and stories are like organisms all their own, life upon life, the way moss grows around poplar trunks and barnacles atop crab shells, the way golden chanterelles spring from hemlock needles. They spread in the cove with the kelp and the eelgrass, and in the rainforest with the lichen, the cedars, the swordferns. They pelt down inside raindrops, erode thick slabs of driftwood, puddle the old logging road that these days led to nowhere.

Only weeks from retirement, Bernadette finds herself unsettled, with no immediate family of her own how does she fit into the world? Her fears are complicated by the role she has played within their community: a keeper of secrets in a place too small for secrets. And then a shocking announcement crackles over the VHF radio of the remote medical outpost: Chase Charlie, the young man that Bernadette loves like a son, is missing. The community is thrown into upheaval, and with the surface broken, raw dysfunction, pain and truths float to the light.

Available at:
Chapters Indigo


Independent bookstores across Canada


JENNIFER MANUEL has been a Western Magazine Finalist and the recipient of the Storyteller’s Award at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in 2013. Her short fiction has been published in literary magazines across Canada. A long-time activist in Aboriginal issues, Manuel taught elementary and high school in the lands of the Tahltan and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. She is a TA for Sarah Selecky’s The Story Intensive, and she mentors writers from around the world. She lives on Vancouver Island. Email her: Jennifer Manuel

Jennifer is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists. For interview requests, please contact Sam Markham, Publicist, Douglas & McIntyre


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