www.literaryawards.com.au- book awards of the world central

Products

Fishpond


2009 | 2008 Winners | 2008 Finalists | 2007

The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GG's). The value of each award is (cdn) $25,000, increased from $15,000 in celebration of the Canada Council’s 50th anniversary.

Each winner also receives a specially-crafted copy of the winning book. The publisher of each winning book received $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the Awards to approximately $450,000. BMO Financial Group has been the sponsor of the Governor General’s Literary Awards since 1988.

Winners of 2009 Governor General’s Literary Awards announced by the Canada Council for the Arts

For the first time in the history of the Awards one book wins in both categories of children’s literature (text and illustration): Harvey by author Hervé Bouchard and illustrator Janice Nadeau, a three-time Award-winner. Children’s literature was also the focus in the English-language translation category, with Susan Ouriou winning for her translation of a young adult novel, Pieces of Me, a translation of La liberté? Connais pas… by Charlotte Gingras. Paule Noyart, winner in French-language translation, takes home her second Award this year for her translation of Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly.

M.G. Vassanji, a past finalist in fiction, wins this year in the non-fiction category for his account of his travel in India. This year, 12 of the 14 winners receive this award for the very first time.

Winners
Fiction

Kate Pullinger, London (UK) [originally from Cranbrook,
British Columbia], The Mistress of Nothing.
(McArthur & Company; distributed by the publisher)

In The Mistress of Nothing, Kate Pullinger creates the fascinating character of Sally, maid to Lady Duff Gordon in Victorian times. Over the course of a memorable journey down the Nile with her Lady, Sally comes to realizations about the nature of power – its seductiveness, its elusiveness and its ability to alter the soul in manifold ways.

Julie Mazzieri, Velone-Orneto (France) [originally from
Saint-Paul-de-Chester, Quebec], Le discours sur la tombe de l’idiot.
(Éditions José Corti; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

An exceptionally polished novel, the result of an exemplary mastery of narrative. The text is deep, dark and implacable, and the tight, suspenseful writing stays with us long after the book is finished. The author sets herself the challenge of making the story believable, and she has succeeded brilliantly.

Poetry
David Zieroth, North Vancouver, The Fly in Autumn.
(Harbour Publishing; distributed by the publisher)

In The Fly in Autumn, David Zieroth addresses our common and defining human fate – the loneliness that is a rehearsal for death – with a tenderness and buoyancy that shows the reader “how to walk in the dark with flowers.” The intricacy and exuberance of rhyme and the breadth of vision are stunning.

Hélène Monette, Montreal, Thérèse pour joie et orchestre.
(Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

In Thérèse pour joie et orchestre, the poet transforms the sister she lost to illness into a happy spirit floating over people and places. This elegy orchestrated by Hélène Monette is astonishing in its ability to touch the reader. A magnificent ode in a voice that is generous and powerful.

Drama
Kevin Loring, Vancouver, Where the Blood Mixes.
(Talonbooks; distributed by Publishers Group Canada)

An abducted daughter returns to her wounded community after many years away. Kevin Loring illuminates the complex aftermath of the residential school system and the circumstances of contemporary Aboriginal history through compelling, sympathetic and humorous characters who live as best they can, with courage and strength.

Suzanne Lebeau, Montreal, Le bruit des os qui craquent.
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Le bruit des os qui craquent is a rare, courageous and beautiful work. Suzanne Lebeau conveys the devastating effects of war on children with sensitivity and uncompromising rigour. Directly and with heartbreaking lucidity, she broaches the question of individual and collective responsibility, and proposes empathy as the road toward hope and ultimately, redemption.

Non-fiction
M.G. Vassanji, Toronto, A Place Within: Rediscovering India.
(Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

An utterly brilliant, evocative memoir that ranges across the landscapes of culture, memory, identity and history. M.G. Vassanji’s style – diverse and playful – brings the reader along effortlessly, illuminating the ramshackle roots of self, family, and culture. An outstanding book of self-reflection and persistent insight, A Place Within is the resonant chronicle of a sage, a traveler, a pilgrim.

Nicole V. Champeau, Ottawa, Pointe Maligne : l’infiniment oubliée.
(Les Éditions du Vermillon; distributed by Prologue)

Like a requiem, this book sings of the destruction of the territories of the Upper Saint Lawrence, drowned by dams and depopulated by expropriation. These places have even disappeared from the memories of maps. Around Cornwall, originally called Pointe Maligne, the memory of the founding peoples, Amerindian and French, has been obliterated.

Children’s Literature - Text
Caroline Pignat, Ottawa, Greener Grass: The Famine Years.
(Red Deer Press, a division of Fitzhenry & Whiteside; distributed by the publisher)

Caroline Pignat’s Greener Grass: The Famine Years follows the disintegration of the Byrne family during Ireland’s Great Famine of 1847, when landlords ruled without mercy, children could be taken away to prison, and thousands were left to starve. A timeless story of courage, family loyalty and the resilience of the human spirit.

Hervé Bouchard, Saguenay (Quebec), Harvey.
(Les Éditions de la Pastèque; distributed by Socadis)

Hervé Bouchard makes us feel the confusion and helplessness of a little boy faced with the death of his father. His surprising and extremely sensitive writing is deeply moving. Through a series of poetically powerful metaphors, he allows us the freedom to explore the multiple layers of his story.

Children’s Literature – Illustration
Jirina Marton, Colborne (Ontario), Bella’s Tree, text by Janet Russell.
(Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Jirina Marton’s illustrations invite the reader to a winter landscape full of textures and subtle, earthy colour palettes. The Van Gogh-like interior and its warm tones create a holiday season mood that evokes an emotional response. The illustrations are well crafted and capture the imagination and humanity of the everyday lives they portray.

Janice Nadeau, Montreal, Harvey, text by Hervé Bouchard.
(Les Éditions de la Pastèque; distributed by Socadis)

In illustrating a book that stands out for the originality of its language, Janice Nadeau has come up with wonderful ways of depicting the sadness of spring and the melancholy of loss. The subtle drawings dance with the text and give rhythm to the reading. Hervé Bouchard’s Quebec comes alive under the brush strokes of the illustrator.

Translation
Susan Ouriou, Calgary, Pieces of Me.
(Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
English translation of La liberté? Connais pas… by Charlotte Gingras (Les éditions de la courte échelle)

With Pieces of Me, Susan Ouriou has created a magical rendering of the exquisite original. Tenderly redrawing the portrait of a troubled teenage girl struggling to come into her own, Ouriou has sensitively captured all that is moving, poetic and funny about the novel’s main character in a truly accomplished translation.

Paule Noyart, Bromont (Quebec), Le miel d’Harar.
(Leméac Éditeur / Actes Sud; distributed by Socadis)
French translation of Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
(Anchor Canada)

Paule Noyart shows a keen sensitivity to the poetry of the original. In a true act of literary creation, the expressive liberties the translator has taken serve this culturally-rich novel well. The remarkable quality of her work manages to transcend the limits of the translator’s art – a rare accomplishment indeed.

The peer assessment committees
The finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards are chosen by peer assessment committees (seven English and seven French) appointed by the Canada Council. The committees, which met separately, considered all eligible books published between September 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009 for English-language books and between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 for French-language books. This year 884 titles in the English-language categories and 657 titles in the French-language categories were submitted.

English-language committees
Fiction: Judy Fong Bates (Campbellford, ON), Wayne Johnston (Toronto), Shaena Lambert (Vancouver)
Poetry: Janice Kulyk Keefer (Toronto), George Murray (St. John’s, NL), John Pass (Madeira Park, BC)
Drama: Sally Clark (Vancouver), Bruce McManus (Winnipeg), Drew Hayden Taylor (Curve Lake, ON)
Non-fiction: Stephen Kimber (Halifax), Ross A. Laird (Delta, BC), Nelofer Pazira (Toronto)
Children’s literature – text: Tomson Highway (Noëlville, ON), Pamela Porter (North Saanich, BC), Alice Walsh (Lower Sackville, NS)
Children’s literature – illustration: Kyrsten Brooker (Edmonton), Laura Jolicoeur-Simon (Dartmouth, NS), Leo Yerxa (Ottawa)
Translation: Betty Bednarski (Halifax), Rhonda Mullins (Montreal), John Murrell (Calgary)
French-language committees

French-language committees
Fiction: Marie-Célie Agnant (Montreal), Daniel Poliquin (Parrsboro, NS), Pierre Samson (Montreal)
Poetry: Carole David (Montreal), Paul Chanel Malenfant (Rimouski, QC), Benoît Doyon-Gosselin (Quebec City)
Drama: Marie-Christine Lê Huu (Montreal), Pierre-Yves Lemieux (Montreal), Robert Marinier (Ottawa)
Non-fiction: François Bugingo (Montreal), Madeleine Gagnon (Montreal), Roland Le Huenen (Toronto)
Children’s literature – text: Charlotte Gingras (Morin-Heights, QC), Daniel Marchildon (Penetanguishene, ON), Jean-Michel Schembré (Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, QC)
Children’s literature – illustration: Sylvie Daigneault (Toronto), Virginie Egger (Montreal), Rafael Sottolichio (Montreal)
Translation: Jean Antonin Billard (Roxton Falls, QC), Anne Malena (Edmonton), Sophie Voillot (Montreal)

2009 Finalists- Winners 17th November

English-language finalists

English-language finalists - Fiction
Michael Crummey, St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador), Galore. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Annabel Lyon, New Westminster (British Columbia), The Golden Mean. (Random House Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Alice Munro, Clinton (Ontario), Too Much Happiness. (McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Kate Pullinger, London (UK), [originally from Cranbrook, British Columbia], The Mistress of Nothing. (McArthur & Company; distributed by the publisher)

Deborah Willis, Victoria, Vanishing and Other Stories. (Penguin Group (Canada); distributed by the publisher)

Poetry
David W. McFadden, Toronto, Be Calm, Honey. (Mansfield Press; distributed by LitDistCo)

Philip Kevin Paul, Brentwood Bay (British Columbia), Little Hunger. (Nightwood Editions; distributed by Harbour Publishing)

Sina Queyras, Montreal, Expressway. (Coach House Books; distributed by LitDistCo)

Carmine Starnino, Montreal, This Way Out. (Gaspereau Press; distributed by the publisher)

David Zieroth, North Vancouver, The Fly in Autumn. (Harbour Publishing; distributed by the publisher)

Drama
Beverley Cooper, Toronto, Innocence Lost: A Play about Steven Truscott. (Scirocco Drama / J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing Group; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Kevin Loring, Vancouver, Where the Blood Mixes. (Talonbooks; distributed by Publishers Group Canada)

Joan MacLeod, Victoria, Another Home Invasion. (Talonbooks; distributed by Publishers Group Canada)

Hannah Moscovitch, Toronto, East of Berlin. (Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by the publisher)

Michael Nathanson, Winnipeg, Talk. (Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by the publisher)

Non-fiction
Randall Hansen, Toronto, Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-45. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Trevor Herriot, Regina, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds. (Phyllis Bruce Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Eric S. Margolis, Toronto, American Raj: Liberation or Domination? (Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World). (Key Porter Books; distributed by H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd)

Eric Siblin, Westmount (Quebec), The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece. (House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

M.G. Vassanji, Toronto, A Place Within: Rediscovering India. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Children’s Literature — Text
Shelley Hrdlitschka, North Vancouver, Sister Wife. (Orca Book Publishers; distributed by the publisher)

Sharon Jennings, Toronto, Home Free. (Second Story Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Caroline Pignat, Ottawa, Greener Grass: The Famine Years. (Red Deer Press, a division of Fitzhenry & Whiteside; distributed by the publisher)

Robin Stevenson, Victoria, A Thousand Shades of Blue. (Orca Book Publishers; distributed by the publisher)

Tim Wynne-Jones, Perth (Ontario), The Uninvited. (Candlewick Press; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Children’s Literature — Illustration

Rachel Berman, Victoria, Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog, text by Tim Beiser. (Tundra Books; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Irene Luxbacher, Toronto, The Imaginary Garden, text by Andrew Larsen. (Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Jirina Marton, Colborne (Ontario), Bella’s Tree, text by Janet Russell. (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Luc Melanson, Laval (Quebec), My Great Big Mamma, text by Olivier Ka, translation by Helen Mixter. (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Ningeokuluk Teevee, Cape Dorset (Nunavut), Alego, text by Ningeokuluk Teevee, translation by Nina Manning-Toonoo. (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Translation - French to English

Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, Montreal, A Slight Case of Fatigue. (Talonbooks; distributed by Publishers Group Canada, a division of Raincoast Books) English translation of Un peu de fatigue by Stéphane Bourguignon (Les Éditions Québec Amérique)

Jo-Anne Elder, Fredericton, One. (Goose Lane Editions; distributed by University of Toronto Press) English translation of Seul on est by Serge Patrice Thibodeau (Les Éditions Perce-Neige)

David Homel and Fred A. Reed, Montreal, Wildlives. (Douglas & McIntyre; distributed by HarperCollins Canada) English translation of Champagne by Monique Proulx (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Susan Ouriou, Calgary, Pieces of Me. (Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press) English translation of La liberté? Connais pas… by Charlotte Gingras (Les éditions de la courte échelle)

Fred A. Reed, Montreal, Empire of Desire: The Abolition of Time. (Talonbooks; distributed by Publishers Group Canada, a division of Raincoast Books) English translation of Le temps aboli : l’Occident et ses grands récits by Thierry Hentsch (Les Éditions du Boréal / Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

French-language finalists - Fiction
Jean-François Beauchemin, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs (Quebec), Cette année s’envole ma jeunesse. (Les Éditions Québec Amérique; distributed by Diffusion Prologue)

Nadine Bismuth, Montreal, Êtes-vous mariée à un psychopathe? (Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Dominique Fortier, Montreal, Du bon usage des étoiles. (Éditions Alto; distributed by Socadis)

Julie Mazzieri, Velone-Orneto, France, [originally from Quebec], Le discours sur la tombe de l’idiot. (Éditions José Corti; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Aki Shimazaki, Montreal, Zakuro. (Leméac Éditeur / Actes Sud; distributed by Socadis)

Poetry
Normand de Bellefeuille, Sainte-Pétronille (Quebec), Mon nom. (Éditions du Noroît; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

René Lapierre, Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu (Quebec), Traité de physique. (Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Hélène Monette, Montreal, Thérèse pour joie et orchestre. (Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Philippe More, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec), Brouillons pour un siècle abstrait. (Poètes de brousse; distributed by Messageries ADP)

André Roy, Montreal, Les espions de Dieu. (Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Drama
Evelyne de la Chenelière, Montreal, Les pieds des anges. (Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

François Godin, Montreal, Je suis d’un would be pays. (Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Olivier Kemeid, Montreal, L’Énéide. (Lansman Éditeur; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Louis-Dominique Lavigne, Montreal, Glouglou. (Dramaturges Éditeurs; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Suzanne Lebeau, Montreal, Le bruit des os qui craquent. (Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Non-fiction
Djemila Benhabib, Gatineau (Quebec), Ma vie à contre-Coran : une femme témoigne sur les islamistes. (VLB éditeur; distributed by Les messageries ADP)

Nicole V. Champeau, Ottawa, Pointe Maligne : l’infiniment oubliée. (Les Éditions du Vermillon; distributed by Prologue)

Claude Fournier, Saint-Paul-d’Abbotsford (Quebec), À force de vivre : mémoires. (Éditions Libre Expression; distributed by Les messageries ADP)

Céline Lafontaine, Montréal, La société postmortelle : la mort, l’individu et le lien social à l’ère des communications. (Éditions du Seuil; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia)

Charles Le Blanc, Gatineau (Quebec), Le complexe d’Hermès : regards philosophiques sur la traduction. (Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa; distributed by Prologue)

Children’s Literature – Text
Jocelyn Boisvert, Hâvre-aux-Maisons (Quebec), Mort et déterré. (Soulières éditeur; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Hervé Bouchard, Saguenay (Quebec), Harvey. (Les Éditions de la Pastèque; distributed by Socadis)

Pierre Chartray and Sylvie Rancourt, Longueuil (Quebec), Simon et le chasseur de dragons. (Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine; distributed by Diffusion Prologue)

Michèle Laframboise, Mississauga, La quête de Chaaas, tome 2 – Les vents de Tammerlan. (Éditions Médiaspaul; distributed by Diffusion Prologue)

Matthieu Simard, Montreal, Pavel, épisode 1 – Plus vivant que toutes les pornstars réunies. (Les éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Children’s Literature – Illustration
Philippe Béha, Montreal, Ulysse et Pénélope, text by Louise Portal. (Éditions Hurtubise HMH; distributed by the publisher)

Gérard DuBois, Saint-Lambert (Quebec), Henri au jardin d’enfants, text by Gérard DuBois. (Éditions du Seuil; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Janice Nadeau, Montreal, Harvey, text by Hervé Bouchard. (Les Éditions de la Pastèque; distributed by Socadis)

Pierre Pratt, Montreal, L’étoile de Sarajevo, text by Jacques Pasquet. (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by Messageries ADP, groupe Sogides)

Rogé (Roger Girard), Montreal, La vraie histoire de Léo Pointu, text by Rogé. (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by Messageries ADP, groupe Sogides)

Translation – English to French
Sylvie Nicolas, Quebec City, Lundi sans faute. (Les Éditions Québec Amérique; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) French translation of Right Away Monday by Joel Thomas Hynes (Harper Perennial, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)

Paule Noyart, Bromont (Quebec), Le miel d’Harar. (Leméac Éditeur / Actes Sud; distributed by Socadis) French translation of Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb (Anchor Canada)

Hélène Rioux, Montreal, Certitudes. (XYZ éditeur; distributed by Distribution HMH) French translation of Certainty by Madeleine Thien (McClelland & Stewart)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Montreal, Cartes postales de l’enfer. (Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia) French translation of The Soul of All Great Designs by Neil Bissoondath (Cormorant Books)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Montreal, La veuve. (Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimédia) French translation of The Outlander by Gil Adamson (House of Anansi Press)

2008 Winners Govenor General Literary Awards

 

Fiction

Nino Ricci, Toronto, The Origin of Species.
(Doubleday Canada)
Alex Fratarcangeli, a modern Prufrock, must survive in the multiethnic complexity of Montreal in the 1980s. The Origin of Species is written with great humanity, realism and wit. Told in windowpane prose, this story reads as if it has come up through our collective memory. With the shock of recognition, we gain a new understanding of our fragility and our strength.

Review
Praise for Nino Ricci:
“A writer of impeccable craft.” Pico Iyer, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[Ricci] is blessed with the ability to recreate a world entire and make us believe in it.” The Globe and Mail

About the Author
Nino Ricci was born in Leamington, Ontario, to parents from the Molise region of Italy. He studied English literature and creative writing at York University and Concordia University, then Italian studies at the University of Florence. He has taught literary studies and creative writing in Canada and abroad. He now lives in Toronto, and is a past president of the Canadian Centre of International PEN.
Nino Ricci’s first novel Lives of the Saints garnered international acclaim, appearing in fifteen countries and winning a host of awards, including Canada’s Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and England’s Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Prize. Lives of the Saints formed the first volume of a trilogy that was completed by In A Glass House and Where She Has Gone, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fiction. The trilogy was adapted for a miniseries starring Sophia Loren, Sabrina Ferilli, and Kris Kristofferson.

Ricci’s 2002 novel Testament was the co-winner of the Trillium Award and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. It has been published in several languages around the globe and was a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year.

In 2006, Ricci was named the inaugural winner of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement. His most recent novel, Giller-nominated The Origin of Species, was published in September 2008.

   

Marie-Claire Blais, Westmount, Quebec,
Naissance de Rebecca à l’ère des tourments.
(Les Éditions du Boréal)
The heart of a world in all its maledictions and beauty, the inexhaustible outpouring of life in the darkness of an end that began a long time ago, this breathtaking paroxysm of a novel turns any commonly held vision upside down. Marie-Claire Blais’ transcendental prose illuminates the depths of the characters with an extraordinary light of survival.

Back to top

 

Poetry

Jacob Scheier, Toronto, More to Keep Us Warm.
(ECW Press)
More to Keep Us Warm invites the reader into a world of hope, pain, laughter and forgiveness – elements that reconcile the human drama through the power of love and sheer poetic invention. With deep affection for his work, Jacob Scheier manages his debut collection with precision, grace and stunning metaphor. 

Both chronicle and confrontation, the poems of Jacob Scheier’s debut work out and through notions of loss. As the death of a young man’s mother instigates and informs these investigations, the realities of romantic failures become inextricably connected, and in the process More To Keep Us Warm maps the limitations, and breaking points, of the human heart. Questioning how and why we fall in and out of love becomes the collection’s haunting refrain.

At the same time, Scheier’s poems mourn the absence of both religious and cultural identity. Facing the painful and confusing losses of his life, the support of the only “tradition” the writer knows — an atheist, socialist upbringing — proves unsatisfying. In response, More To Keep Us Warm explores the formation of a new, complex sense of self as inherited belief systems fail. With humour, sardonic wit, and conversational charm, this search engages and struggles with Judeo–Christian tradition to become an intimate meditation on the nature of God in a secular world.

"A burgeoning voice in Canadian poetry [that] . . . will ignite and incite new poets."  —Matrix

Back to top


 

Michel Pleau, Quebec City, La lenteur du monde.
(Les Éditions David)
In La lenteur du monde, Michel Pleau uses simple, moving images that go straight to the heart. He shapes words like a sculptor carves, with painstaking care, to give us moments of pure beauty and flashes of luminous landscape. He evokes the nostalgia of childhood in language as refreshing and bracing as the wind.

 

Back to top

 

Drama

Catherine Banks, Halifax, Bone Cage.
(Playwrights Canada Press)
With her expert command of dramatic metaphor, Catherine Banks shows us the life-blood of rural Canada flowing through the conflicted, bone-caged human heart. What is the cost to the human spirit, she asks, when good people are forced by circumstance to kill the thing they love – in this case, the Canadian wilderness? The playwright finds that which is most noble in unexpected places, the heroic in what appears to be the simplest of lives.

 

Back to top

    Jennifer Tremblay, Sorel, Quebec, La liste.
(Les Éditions de la Bagnole)
Absolutely inspired. The author proposes a simple, syncopated tale of everyday to-do lists in which the essential and the ordinary are inextricably entwined. Jennifer Tremblay achieves the universal with economy and lucidity.
 

Non-fiction

Christie Blatchford, Toronto, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army.
(Doubleday Canada)
Christie Blatchford's Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army is a dramatic and vivid chronicle that proves reportage and the language of common speech can rise to the challenge of literature. Blatchford's writing allows the soldiers and their families to speak to us in their own voices, without adornment.

Back to top

 

Pierre Ouellet, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec,
Hors-temps: poétique de la posthistoire.
(VLB éditeur)
Pierre Ouellet does an exceptional job of combining the inspiration of poetry with the rigours of philosophy. He positions himself at the dawn of post-history and, through the power of language, reveals a dazzling vision of the future. He blends the political, dreams and intimacy into a critical reflection of immense lucidity.

Pierre Ouellet est poète, essayiste et romancier. Auteur d'une trentaine d'oeuvres, il a publié plusieurs livres de poésie dont Zone franche et Dépositions, des récits et des romans dont Légende dorée (prix de l'Académie des lettres du Québec) et Une ombre entre les ombres, ainsi que de nombreux essais parmi lesquels Outland et À force de voir (prix du Gouverneur général). Directeur de la collection "Le soi et l'autre" chez VLB éditeur, il y a fait paraître plusieurs ouvrages collectifs dont Puissances du verbe. Écriture et chamanisme. Titulaire de la Chaire de recherche en esthétique et poétique de l'UQAM, il est membre de la Société royale du Canada.

Back to top

 

Children’s Literature - Text

John Ibbitson, Washington (D.C.), formerly of Ottawa and Toronto, The Landing.
(Kids Can Press)
A superbly crafted story, The Landing takes us to the Ontario Muskoka region of the 1930s. As an interpretation of a place and time and a young man’s coming-of-age, it never falters. It is a novel as timeless as the music and the adolescent imagination that lie at its centre.             

Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less. Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He's thinking about how unfair it is that his uncle only cares about work. He's thinking about what he really wants to do: play the violin. These days, he's lucky to snatch the odd bit of practice between chores, playing to the chickens in the henhouse. A new job fixing up the grand old cottage on nearby Pine Island seems at first to be just one more thing to keep Ben away from his violin. After he meets the island's owner, Ben changes his mind. Ruth Chapman is a cultured and wealthy woman from New York who introduces Ben to an unfamiliar, liberating world. After Ben plays violin for Ruth and her admiring friends, it only makes him more desperate to flee. Then, during a stormy night on Lake Muskoka, everything changes.

Back to top

    Sylvie Desrosiers, Longueuil, Quebec, Les trois lieues.
(Les éditions de la courte échelle)
Sylvie Desrosiers has written a profoundly moving story about the difficult relationship between a father and son. The book takes us on an extraordinary adventure in the far North, a place where magic is closely connected to reality. A gentle reflection on courage, forgiveness, life, love and death.
 

Children’s Literature – Illustration

Stéphane Jorisch, Montreal, The Owl and the Pussycat, text by Edward Lear.
(Kids Can Press)
Light, poetic, playful, imaginative, bizarre and ingenious illustrations match the text superbly. Stéphane Jorisch’s art brings new colour and depth to this well-known poem. Sit down in an armchair with this book and let it transport you into its magical world.

Visions in Poetry is an innovative and award-winning series of classic poems re-interpreted for today's readers by outstanding contemporary artists in distinctively beautiful editions. The sixth Visions in Poetry book is The Owl and the Pussycat, a nonsense poem by Edward Lear, brilliantly illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. The artist's vision begins in a segregated world where different species never mix and everyone hides behind a mask. Against this backdrop an aristocratic owl from Owl Heights and a bohemian pussycat from the other side of the tracks find each other. They escape society's disapproval by sailing in their pea green boat to "the land where the bong-tree grows," a utopia of mismatched creatures living together, their masks doffed for good. Jorisch's playful and fantastic interpretation, inspired in part by Lear's own illustrations as well as the films of Fellini, the art of Miro and The Beatles' Yellow Submarine, is a celebration of love and an exhilarating journey that takes us beyond the quirky charm of this favourite poem.

Back to top

    Janice Nadeau, Montreal, Ma meilleure amie, text by Gilles Tibo.
(Québec Amérique)
Janice Nadeau uses a quiet, sober approach to illustrate the delicate subject of death. Her brushstroke evokes ashes and dust, and the restrained use of colour imbues Ma meilleure amie with an emotional charge that goes straight to the heart.
 

Translation

Lazer Lederhendler, Montreal, Nikolski.
(Knopf Canada)
English translation of Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner (Éditions Alto)
One senses the affinity between the translator and his writer in this English-language version of Nikolski, a delightfully light-hearted,
deeply-rooted story. The wonderful magic in the original is also present in the translation. Lederhendler is clearly a translator with imagination and a terrific sense of language. His work remains wickedly faithful to the original.

Back to top

 

Claire Chabalier, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Quebec, and
Louise Chabalier, Mascouche, Quebec, Tracey en mille morceaux
(Les éditions Les Allusifs)
French translation of The Tracey Fragments by Maureen Medved (House of Anansi Press)
This extraordinary feat of fragmentation, already a tour-de-force in English, ran the risk in translation of appearing juxtaposed, assembled artificially in an attempt to reproduce the original welter of words. But the fluidity is natural, and the tension is constant and palpable. The translation avoids any vulgarity or obscenity – a work utterly lacking in complacency or concession.

2008 Finalists

English-language finalists:

Fiction

Rivka Galchen, New York (New York), originally from Toronto, Atmospheric Disturbances.    

Rawi Hage, Montreal, Cockroach.

Nino Ricci, Toronto, The Origin of Species.

David Adams Richards, Toronto, The Lost Highway.

Fred Stenson, Cochrane (Alberta), The Great Karoo.

back to top

Poetry

Weyman Chan, Calgary, Noise from the Laundry.

A. F. Moritz, Toronto, The Sentinel.

Sachiko Murakami, Vancouver, The Invisibility Exhibit.

Ruth Roach Pierson, Toronto, Aide-Memoire.

Jacob Scheier, Toronto, More to Keep Us Warm.

Drama

Catherine Banks, Halifax, Bone Cage.

Ronnie Burkett, Toronto, 10 Days on Earth.

Paul Ciufo, Grand Bend (Ontario), Reverend Jonah.

Marie Clements, Galiano Island (British Columbia), Copper Thunderbird.

Judith Thompson, Toronto, Palace of the End.

back to top

Non-fiction

Christie Blatchford, Toronto, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army.

Douglas Hunter, Port McNicoll (Ontario), God's Mercies. Rivalry, Betrayal and the Dream of Discovery.

Sid Marty, Lundbreck (Alberta), The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek.

James Orbinski, Toronto, An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century.

Chris Turner, Calgary, The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need

Children's Literature - Text

Alma Fullerton, Midland (Ontario), Libertad.

John Ibbitson, Washington (D.C.), formerly of Ottawa and Toronto, The Landing.

Dianne Linden, Edmonton, Shimmerdogs.

Shenaaz Nanji, Calgary, Child of Dandelions.

Mariko Tamaki, Toronto, Skim.

back to top

Children's Literature - Illustration

Isabelle Arsenault, Montreal, My Letter to the World and Other Poems, text by Emily Dickinson.

Josee Bisaillon, Saint-Hubert (Quebec), The Emperor's Second Hand Clothes, text by Anne Millyard.

Matt James, Toronto, Yellow Moon, Apple Moon, text by Pamela Porter.

Stephane Jorisch, Montreal, The Owl and the Pussycat, text by Edward Lear.

Kim LaFave, Roberts Creek (British Columbia), Shin-chi's Canoe, text by Nicola I. Campbell.    

Translation - French to English

Jo-Anne Elder, Fredericton (New Brunswick), Beatitudes, by Hermenegilde Chiasson.

Liedewy Hawke, Toronto, The Postman's Round, by Denis Thériault.

Lazer Lederhendler, Montreal, Nikolski, by Nicolas Dickner.

Paul Leduc Browne, Ottawa, and Michelle Weinroth, Ottawa, The Making of the Nations and Cultures of the New World by Gerard Bouchard.

Fred A. Reed, Montreal, Orfeo by Hans-Jurgen Greif

back to top

French-language finalists:

Fiction

Jean-Francois Beauchemin, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs (Quebec), Ceci est mon corps.

Marie-Claire Blais, Westmount (Quebec), Naissance de Rebecca a l'ere des tourments.

Guillaume Corbeil, Montreal, L'art de la fugue.

Monique Proulx, Montreal, Champagne.

Jean-Pierre Trépanier, Rawdon (Quebec), Colomia.


Poetry

Steve Auger, Montreal, Le rosier incendiaire.

Francois Charron, Montreal, Nous aurons tout vecu.

Henri Chasse, Montreal, Morceaux de tempete.

Michel Pleau, Quebec City, La lenteur du monde.

Michel A. Thérien, Ottawa, Du vertige et de l'espoir: Carnets africains.

Drama

Yvan Bienvenue, Montreal, La vie continue.

Carole Frechette, Montreal, Serial Killer et autres pièces courtes.

Catherine Mavrikakis, Montreal, Omaha Beach.

Wajdi Mouawad, Montreal, Ottawa, Le soleil ni la mort ne peuvent se regarder en face.

Jennifer Tremblay, Sorel (Quebec), La liste.

back to top

Non-fiction

Adèle Lauzon, Montreal, Pas si tranquille.

Georges Leroux, Montreal, Partita pour Glenn Gould: musique et forme de vie.

Andre Major, Montreal, L'esprit vagabond.

Pierre Ouellet, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec), Hors-temps: poetique de la posthistoire.

Louise Warren, Saint-Alphonse-de-Rodriguez (Quebec), La forme et le deuil: archives du lac.

Children's Literature - Text

Camille Bouchard, Saint-Marcel-de-l'Islet (Quebec), Trente-neuf.

Sylvie Desrosiers, Longueuil (Quebec), Les trois lieues.

Charlotte Gingras, Morin-Heights (Quebec), Ophelie.

Francois Gravel, Montreal, Sales crapauds.

Carole Tremblay, Montreal, Fred Poulet enquête sur une chaussette.

Children's Literature - Illustration

Philippe Béha, Montreal, Les pays inventes, text by Henriette Major.

Stéphane Jorisch, Montreal, Un cadeau pour Sophie, text by Gilles Vigneault

Marie Lafrance, Montreal, Le sorcier amoureux, text by Mireille Levert.

Caroline Merola, Montreal, Quand le chat est parti, text by Caroline Merola.

Janice Nadeau, Montreal, Ma meilleure amie, text by Gilles Tibo.

back to top

Translation - English to French

Dominique Bouchard, Ripon (Quebec), Les grands lacs: histoire naturelle d'une région en perpétuelle mutation by Wayne Grady.

Claire Chabalier, Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot (Quebec), and Louise Chabalier, Mascouche (Quebec), Tracey en mille morceaux  by Maureen Medved.

Jean Marc Dalpe, Montreal, Roc & rail: Trains fantomes suivi de Slague: l'histoire d'un mineur  by Mansel Robinson.

Lori Saint-Martin, Montreal, and Paul Gagne, Montreal, Big Bang by Neil Smith.

Sophie Voillot, Montreal, Logogryphe by Thomas Wharton

2007 Winner - Michael Ondaatje Reels in Number Five at Governor Generals for Divisadero

Ottawa, November 27, 2007 The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the names of the winners of the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Awards, in English and in French, in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation.

Nine of this year’s winners are receiving Governor General’s Literary Awards for the first time. For Michael Ondaatje,Michael Ondaatje winner of the 2007 award in English-language fiction for Divisadero, this is his fifth award, tying the record set by the late Hugh MacLennan for the most Governor General’s Awards in the prize’s history. Other previous winners receiving awards this year include Daniel Danis (French-language drama), Serge Patrice Thibodeau (French-language poetry), Nigel Spencer (French-to-English translation), and collaborators Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné (English-to-French translation)

Michael Ondaatje took a philosophical approach to winning his fifth Governor General's Award , tying the record set by Canadian literary icon Hugh MacLennan.

"I take one book at a time so it's not like a stamp collection," Ondaatje said when asked how he felt picking up his fifth award. "I don't have that ambition.

"But it feels very personal and this book for me was a very personal book and difficult book and risky book so it meant a lot to get the award for this book."

Tying the record of MacLennan, who wrote such landmark books as "Two Solitudes" and "The Watch That Ends the Night," also has a special meaning to Ondaatje, who came to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1962.

Ondaatje, who lives in Toronto now but initially resided in Montreal, said the first novels he read about his new country were written by MacLennan and Leonard Cohen.

"It was the first time I read books about this place and that was so important to me. Those writers, they are still with me, so in that sense it's an honour."

Ondaatje won in the fiction category for "Divisadero," the story of the intersecting lives of a father and his teenage daughters who work their farm with the help of an enigmatic young man.

They have a makeshift family until it is ripped apart by physical and emotional violence that turns their lives upside down.

Other winners announced at a ceremony in Montreal included Toronto's Colleen Murphy, who picked up the drama prize for The December Man, and Don Domanski of Halifax, who won in poetry for All Our Wonder Unavenged.

back to top

Fiction

Michael Ondaatje, Toronto, for Divisadero
(McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 978-0-7710-6872-0)

Lyricism and whimsy are necessary ingredients of brilliant narrative language, and Michael Ondaatje achieves this magnificently in Divisadero. He establishes, in excellent measure, his mastery of poetic seduction, while mindful to include tenderness, compassion and grace. Grace, after all, is the ultimate gift which Ondaatje offers us in Divisadero.

Sylvain Trudel, Quebec City, for La mer de la Tranquillité
(Les éditions Les Allusifs; distributed by Gallimard/Socadis) (ISBN 978-2-9228-6846-3)

This collection burns with the brilliant flame of Sylvain Trudel’s language as he conjures terrible, unforgettable worlds. To read him is an unforgettable and stunning journey from which we do not emerge unscathed.

Poetry

Don Domanski, Halifax, for All Our Wonder Unavenged
(Brick Books; distributed by LitDistCo) (ISBN 978-1-894078-58-6)

Stunningly beautiful and delicate, All Our Wonder Unavenged is a deeply moving vision about the intricacies of the everyday world. A spiritual and metaphysical triumph.

Serge Patrice Thibodeau, Moncton (NB), Seul on est
(Les Éditions Perce-Neige; distributed by Prologue) (ISBN 978-2-922992-33-5)

This is a long poem on the solitary being, imagined, then written like a motif that has been worked in myriad ways in a polished style. The poet’s mastery of language is apparent, with a conciseness that never gives in to facileness. Serge Patrice Thibodeau avoids all the potential traps of literary constraints. The verses give and take meaning in a rhythm and voice that are sustained from the start.

back to top

Drama

Colleen Murphy, Toronto, for The December Man (L’homme de décembre)
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by publisher) (ISBN 978-0-88754-595-5)

The December Man(L’homme de décembre) is a tragedy in which the humanity of the characters gives the play a surprising buoyancy. Heartbreaking yet never sentimental, spare yet complex, with a flawless structure, this is a brave and important play.

Daniel Danis, St-David-de-Falardeau (QC), for Le chant du Dire-Dire
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Prologue) (ISBN 978-2-7609-0402-6)

Revealing the language of a great contemporary poet, this fable by Daniel Danis – terrifying and magnificent, violent and sensual, with a deviant oral character – connects with the great mythological tales.

Non-fiction

Karolyn Smardz Frost, Collingwood (ON), for I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad
(Thomas Allen Publishers; distributed by Thomas Allen & Sons) (ISBN 978-0-88762-250-2)

I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land is a triumphant blend of archaeological and historical research with literary story-telling. Karolyn Smardz Frost uses the flight of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn from slavery in Kentucky to freedom in Toronto to bring the Underground Railroad and its passengers to life in remarkably rich detail. Moving and informative in the best sense, the book will become an instant classic.

Annette Hayward, Kingston (ON), for La querelle du régionalisme au Québec (1904-1931): Vers l’autonomisation de la littérature québécoise
(Éditions du Nordir; distributed by Prologue) (ISBN 978-2-89531-049-5)

Annette Hayward sheds a decisive light on the quarrel that opposed regionalist writers and the so-called ‘exotic’ poets in the first decades of the twentieth century. The result is a resounding success, and a model of literary historiography. With a sober and elegant style, the author combines fine analysis, rigorous methodology and a careful treatment of documentary sources.

back to top

Children’s Literature – Text

Iain Lawrence, Gabriola Island (BC), for Gemini Summer
(Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 978-0-385-73089-1 (trade) / 978-0-385-90111-6 (glb))

Just as the first appearance of a stray dog ignites “a little spark of happiness” in nine-year-old Danny River, Gemini Summer kindles subtle yet powerful emotions that linger well after one has turned the final page. Lawrence’s story is brilliantly imagined, his prose clear and poetic, his characters irresistible.

François Barcelo, Montreal, for La fatigante et le fainéant
(Soulières éditeur; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel) (ISBN 978-2-89607-043-5)

The work by François Barcelo is disarming in its simplicity, even as it tackles the complex theme of intergenerational relationships. Barcelo takes a fresh look at a subject that is as old as it is profoundly human. The voices of the two sensitive characters ring true and the story is well developed. The accessible language is imbued with a tenderness that will leave no reader untouched.

Children’s Literature – Illustration

Duncan Weller, Thunder Bay (ON), for The Boy from the Sun
(Simply Read Books; distributed by Publishers Group Canada / Raincoast Business Services)(ISBN 978-0894965-33-0)

Duncan Weller’s The Boy from the Sun, with its striking mix of techniques, lures the unsuspecting reader away from a dark, gloomy and featureless industrial-urban milieu into a brilliantly coloured alternative world of light, colour and hope, which, in a twist in a pictorial narration, turns out to be the real world they were living in all along. This charming, fresh and joyful book perfectly melds story and image, to both deliver its message and form a thoroughly satisfying whole.

Geneviève Côté, Montreal, for La petite rapporteuse de mots, text by Danielle Simard.
(Les éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 978-2-89540-148-3)

We are dazzled by the refinement and intelligence of the illustrations by Geneviève Côté, and by the simple and effective layout. The use of space and the addition of white reinforce the emotion. The technique of successive, reworked photocopies creates a muted, blurry effect that poignantly translates the fading and gradual loss of memory.

back to top

Translation

Nigel Spencer, Montreal, for Augustino and the Choir of Destruction
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada) (ISBN 978-0-88784-752-3)
English translation of Augustino et le choeur de la destruction by Marie-Claire Blais (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Nigel Spencer has performed a tour de force in Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, his translation of the third volume in Marie-Claire Blais’ trilogy. The poignant and intricate stories of the novel’s astonishing constellation of characters are sensitively conveyed through his moving and innovative use of language. Spencer has risen to the extraordinary challenge of rendering Blais’ uninterrupted stream of hallucinatory prose into an accomplished and lyrical translation.

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Montreal, for Dernières notes
(Les éditions Les Allusifs; distributed by Gallimard/Socadis) (ISBN 978-2-922868-43-2)
French translation of Last Notes and Other Stories by Tamas Dobozy (Phyllis Bruce Book, HarperCollins Publishers)

Translators Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné have successfully transposed the diversity of narrative registers (journalism, introspection, recollection) and styles, going from the ironic all the way to the grotesque. They have thus recreated the distancing effect of exile, where the bizarre and the familiar are inseparable.

Winners 1936 to present

Due to the large number of categories and the history of the award a cumulative list of winnner is available from Governor General’s Literary Awards site in PDF form.

Latest Literary Prize News from Award Tragic

Subscribe by Email

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner


.

EBooks Now Available from Fish Pond BeBook eReader with 1000+ eBooks!!

Check the BeBook ereader featuring over 1000+ titles free! More

Share |

Go Green! Go Earth Books!




600 x 120 skyscraper


Flight Centre - Australia's #1 Travel Agency