Friday, October 21, 2011

Finalists for the Gevernor General's Literary Awards announced

It’s the beginning of prize season for Canadian literature. Last week the finalists for the Giller Prize were announced. (See here.) This week, it’s the finalists for the Governor General’s Awards.

I’m amazed how many of the fiction finalists are also up for the Giller. This may mean these books are so obviously brilliant that any idiot would include them in their list of best Canadian novels for the year.

Or it may mean the talent pool is so shallow that there’s not much to choose from. Or that a kind of group think has decided what a Canadian novel should look like and these are the ones that fit the definition. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.

I’d welcome book reviews of any of these for Quick Brown Fox. (Guidelines here.)

Here are the nominees for the GGs …

For Fiction
• David Bezmozgis, Toronto, The Free World (HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada) Also up for the Giller Prize

• Patrick deWitt, Portland, Oregon, [originally from Vancouver Island], The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada) Also up for the Giller Prize and for the Man Booker Prize (though it didn't win the Booker, which went to the British author, Julian Barnes for "The Sense of an Ending").

• Esi Edugyan, Victoria (British Columbia), Half-Blood Blues: A Novel (Thomas Allen Publishers; distributed by Thomas Allen & Son) Also up for the Giller Prize and for the Man Booker Prize

• Marina Endicott, Edmonton (Alberta), The Little Shadows (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

• Alexi Zentner, Ithaca (New York) [originally from Kitchener, Ontario], Touch (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Non-fiction
• Charles Foran, Peterborough (Ontario), Mordecai: The Life & Times (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada ) Mordecai has already won the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust of Canada Prize for Non-Fiction Read a review of Mordecai here.

• Nathan M. Greenfield, Ottawa (Ontario), The Damned: The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45 (HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada

• Richard Gwyn, Toronto, Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, Volume Two: 1867-1891 (Random House Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

• J.J. Lee , New Westminster (British Columbia), The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit (McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Random House of Canada)

• Andrew Nikiforuk , Calgary (Alberta), Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books, an imprint of D&M Publishers / David Suzuki Foundation; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Children’s Literature — Text
• Jan L. Coates, Wolfville (Nova Scotia), A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press; distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside)

• Deborah Ellis , Simcoe (Ontario), No Ordinary Day (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

• Christopher Moore, Toronto, From Then to Now: A Short History of the World (Tundra Books; distributed by Random House of Canada)

• Kenneth Oppel, Toronto, This Dark Endeavour (HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

• Tim Wynne-Jones, Perth (Ontario), Blink & Caution (Candlewick Press; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Complete list, including best translation, best illustrations, French works, etc, here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. "Or that a kind of group think has decided what a Canadian novel should look like and these are the ones that fit the definition. "

    It's the usual obsession with "Can. Lit." Meanwhile, well-written novels that people actually want to read (e.g. by Louise Penny) are totally ignored.

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