Manic Readers

Beverly Akerman

You are cordially invited to download The Meaning of Children, FREE at Aug. 29th to Sept. 2nd, in appreciation of the outstanding awards & reviews it has garnered.

2010 David Adams Richards Prize Winner

2011 CBC-Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers’ Choice Top 10

2012 Honourable Mention, Eric Hoffer Award Finalist (General Fiction)

The Writers' Union of Canada's Short Prose Competition Finalist 2005 & 2007, and many others.



E-book link:


Review snippets:

“A luminous talent...A keen, incisive vision into the hidden world of children as well as intimate knowledge of the secret spaces that exist between the everyday events of life. A work with a brilliant sense of story.”

~JoAnne Soper-Cook, Judge, 2010 David Adams Richards Prize


“Profound...a writer of such substance that she is obviously headed to the top echelon  of writers of our time...a book of rare sensitivity and masterful creative writing [that] must surely be shared with as many friends and fellow readers as possible.”

~Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer, ***** (5 stars) on


“This isn't the invented childhood of imagination and wonderment...[here] children both corrupt and redeem: each other, family relationships and the female body.”

~Katie Hewitt, The Globe & Mail


“Loved your book; read it in one sitting.”

~Mutsumi Takahashi, Anchor, CTV News Montreal


“...this lovely little book, short stories about life in a family that might just resemble yours...A wonderful gift for mother's day, perhaps more long lived than the usual cut flowers.”

~Anne Lagacé Dowson, CJAD Radio


“Akerman engages with dichotomies. Childhood is that safe, magical, carefree time and place — but it’s also risky, threatening, ominous and dangerous — full of impenetrable mystery around things seen and experienced, but beyond understanding. And if it’s not too much of a simplification or stating the obvious, life and the world are not gentle on children simply for being children…If, as Dostoevsky once remarked, and as is quoted on the collection’s frontispiece, “The soul is healed by being with children,” it is the tragedy of adulthood that we become so isolated from childhood — and what children offer us. Artfully, evocatively, Beverly Akerman’s The Meaning of Children reminds us of that.”


~Darrell Squires, The Western Star


“Beverly’s background as a scientist, MSc and twenty years as a molecular researcher, inevitably spills into the stories…characters, the settings and her style. Intelligent, objective, open-minded but not clinical, her prose is refreshing and unprejudiced. Her characters are frank and genuine ...With The Meaning of Children, we get a beautifully written exposé on the meaning of life.”


~Francine Diot-Layton, The Rover


“I can't stop thinking about this book...I can't remember a book, let alone a collection of short stories, where I could identify so heavily with the emotions and feelings of the characters.”

~Martin Crosbie, author of My Temporary Life, ***** (5 stars) on


“Remarkable in its intensity and craft, The Meaning of Children is a book that bears discovering, and Akerman a writer to watch.”

~ Samuel Peralta, poet, author of Sonata Vampirica & other books, ***** (5 stars) on


Beverly’s Biography

After over two decades in molecular genetics research, Beverly Akerman realized she'd been learning more and more about less and less. Skittish at the prospect of knowing everything about nothing, she turned, for solace, to writing. Recent honours: shortlisted for Aesthetica Magazine's Creative Works Competition, winner of PWAC's 2011 Short Article Award, Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction and nonfiction. Credits include The Globe & Mail, The Hill Times, The Jewish Magazine, Maclean's, The Montreal Gazette, The National Post, The National Review of Medicine, The Toronto Star, CBC Radio One, myriad literary and scientific journals and other publications. Strangely pleased to believe she's the only Canadian writer ever to have sequenced her own DNA.


Interview with Mutsumi Takahashi:



Visit Beverly Akerman's website:

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