The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill has won Canada Reads, CBC Radio One's annual literary contest.
The 2007 historical novel about a girl whose life is shaped by slavery beat out four other works of fiction: Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards, Michel Tremblay's The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant, Gil Adamson's The Outlander and Fruit by Brian Francis.
"I hope this will encourage more readers to look again at our shared history and at the amazing resilience of the human spirit," said Hill, who lives in Burlington. Ont.
Al Jazeera journalist Avi Lewis, who championed Hill's novel on the show, said the book is "a riveting historical tale." But, he added, it is also "a soaring literary accomplishment -- a book in which the pages seem to turn themselves."