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Book cover for Pure Colour, by Sheila Heti

Pure Colour

By Sheila Heti

Knopf Canada / Penguin Random House Canada

Pure Colour is a work of genius, juxtaposing the profound and the everyday to tell the story of Mira struggling with the death of her beloved father. In familiar yet philosophical language, Heti presents art-making, love, and solitude in a stunningly original work. Renewing our sense of the world-changing power of art, the writing is gorgeous, poetic, funny, and ‘more than here.’”

—Peer assessment committee: Norma Dunning, Thea Lim and John Steffler


A new novel about art, love, death and time from the author of Motherhood and How Should A Person Be?
Here we are, just living in the first draft of creation, which was made by some great artist, who is now getting ready to tear it apart.

In this first draft, a woman named Mira leaves home for school. There, she meets Annie, whose tremendous power opens Mira’s chest like a portal—to what, she doesn’t know. When Mira is older, her beloved father dies, and she enters the strange and dizzying dimension that true loss opens up.

Pure Colour tells the story of a life, from beginning to end. It is a galaxy of a novel: explosive, celestially bright, huge, and streaked with beauty. It is a contemporary bible, an atlas of feeling, and a shape-shifting epic. Sheila Heti is a philosopher of modern experience, and she has reimagined what a book can hold.

Sheila Heti posing outdoors


Sheila Heti is a writer of plays, short fiction, and novels. She has written 10 books, including the novels Motherhood, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and How Should a Person Be?, which New York Magazine deemed one of the “New Classics” of the 21st century. She was named one of the “New Vanguard” by the New York Times book critics, who, along with a dozen other magazines and newspapers, chose Motherhood as a top book of 2018. Her books have been translated into 24 languages. Sheila Heti lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Photo: Margaux Williamson

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