Canada Council for the Arts Announces the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalists

Ottawa, October 2, 2012 – Get ready to read the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards finalists. The Canada Council’s peer assessment committees selected this year’s finalists out of approximately 1,700 submitted books, choosing works that tell readers compelling stories about themselves and the world around them.

“Literary excellence is what drives the Governor General’s Literary Awards,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “This year’s shortlisted books put the creative talent of our authors, translators and illustrators front and centre. They inspire readers to discover new places and live memorable experiences through books.”

The Governor General’s Literary Awards, often referred to as the GGs, are given in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation, in both English and French.

The names of the 2012 finalists and the titles of their books are listed below, followed by the names of the members of the 14 peer assessment committees (seven English and seven French). Downloadable images of the shortlisted books, together with additional information about the 2012 Awards are available on the Canada Council’s website

For the second year in a row, the Canada Council has partnered with Indigo Books & Music as well as CBC/Radio-Canada to celebrate the GGs. Indigo’s loyalty programs, plum rewards and iRewards, are offering the chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Governor General’s Literary Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall November 28th. Details of the contest will soon be available on Indigo Books & Music’s website. CBC/Radio-Canada invites book lovers to participate in an online quiz about the English language finalists on CBC Books and about the French language finalists on Radio-Canada’s Zone d’écriture to win 2012 GG books and a Sony Digital Book reader. In addition, seven literary festivals across the country are presenting GG activities this year.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GG2012. Like the Canada Council’s Facebook page for all the latest updates. 

 

English-language finalists

Fiction

Tamas Dobozy, Kitchener, Ont., Siege 13
(Thomas Allen Publishers, a division of Thomas Allen & Son; distributed by the publisher)

Robert Hough, Toronto, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Vincent Lam, Toronto, The Headmaster’s Wager
(Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Carrie Snyder, Waterloo, Ont., The Juliet Stories
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Linda Spalding, Toronto, The Purchase
(McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Poetry

Julie Bruck, San Francisco, Calif. (originally from Montreal), Monkey Ranch
(Brick Books; distributed by LitDistCo)

David McGimpsey, Montreal, Li’l Bastard
(Coach House Books; distributed by LitDistCo)

A. F. Moritz, Toronto, The New Measures
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Lisa Pasold, Toronto, Any Bright Horse
(Frontenac House; distributed by Alpine Book Peddlers)

James Pollock, Madison, Wis. (originally from Southern Ontario), Sailing to Babylon
(Able Muse Press; distributed by Ingram Book Company)

Drama

Catherine Banks, Sambro, N.S., It is Solved by Walking
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Trina Davies, Vancouver, The Romeo Initiative
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Karen Hines, Calgary, Drama: Pilot Episode
(Coach House Books; distributed by LitDistCo)

Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum, Calgary, Lost: A Memoir
(Scirocco Drama, an imprint of J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Anusree Roy, Toronto, Brothel #9
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Non-fiction

Nahlah Ayed, Toronto, A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring
(Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Toronto, The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca
(Cormorant Books; distributed by Thomas Allen & Son)

Wade Davis, Vancouver, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
(Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Ross King, Woodstock, U.K. (originally from North Portal, Sask.), Leonardo and the Last Supper
(Bond Street Books, an imprint of Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Noah Richler, Toronto, What We Talk About When We Talk About War
(Goose Lane Editions; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Children's literature - Text

Rachel Hartman, Vancouver, Seraphina
(Doubleday Canada, an imprint of Random House of Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Deborah Kerbel, Thornhill, Ont., Under the Moon
(Dancing Cat Books, an imprint of Cormorant Books; distributed by Thomas Allen & Son)

Susin Nielsen, Vancouver, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
(Tundra Books, an imprint of Random House of Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Judd Palmer, Victoria, B.C., The Umbrella
(Bayeux Arts; distributed by Literary Press Group of Canada)

Allan Stratton, Toronto, The Grave Robber’s Apprentice
(HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by the publisher)

Children's literature - Illustration

Isabelle Arsenault, Montreal, Virginia Wolf, text by Kyo Maclear
(Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

Renné Benoit, St. Thomas, Ont., Big City Bees, text by Maggie de Vries
(Greystone Books, an imprint of D&M Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

Jon Klassen, Los Angeles (originally from Niagara Falls, Ont.), House Held Up by Trees, text by Ted Kooser
(Candlewick Press; distributed by Random House of Canada)

David Parkins, Lansdowne, Ont., In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up, text by Monica Kullin
(Tundra Books; distributed by Random House of Canada)

Barbara Reid, Toronto, Picture a Tree, text by Barbara Reid
(North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada; distributed by the publisher)

Translation - French to English

Sheila Fischman, Montreal, Ru
(Random House Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)
English translation of Ru by Kim Thúy (Éditions Libre Expression, Groupe Librex, a Quebecor Media company)

Michael Gilson, Saint-Lambert, Que., Mafia Inc.: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada’s Sicilian Clan
(Random House Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)
English translation of Mafia inc. Grandeur et misère du clan sicilien au Quebec by André Cédilot and André Noël (Éditions de l’Homme, a division of Sogides Group, a subsidiary of Quebecor Media)

John Murrell, Calgary, The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs & Thinking of Yu
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
English translation of La petite pièce en haut de l’escalier and
Je pense à Yu, suivi de Entrefilet by Carole Fréchette (Leméac Éditeurs / Actes Sud)

Nigel Spencer, Montreal, Mai at the Predators’ Ball
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
English translation of Mai au bal des prédateurs by Marie-Claire Blais (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Shelley Tepperman, Montreal, The List
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
English translation of La liste by Jennifer Tremblay (Les Éditions de la Bagnole)

French-language finalists

Fiction

Ryad Assani-Razaki, Montreal, La main d’Iman
(Éditions de l’Hexagone, Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature, a Quebecor Media company; distributed by Messageries ADP)

Charles Bolduc, Montreal, Les truites à mains nues
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

France Daigle, Moncton, N.B., Pour sûr
(Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Catherine Mavrikakis, Montreal, Les derniers jours de Smokey Nelson
(Héliotrope; distributed by Gallimard)

Audrée Wilhelmy, Montreal, Oss
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Poetry

Corinne Chevarier, Montreal, Anatomie de l’objet
(Éditions Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Fredric Gary Comeau, Montreal, Souffles
(Écrits des Forges; distributed by Prologue)

Hélène Dorion, Sherbrooke, Que. Cœurs, comme livres d’amour
(Éditions de l’Hexagone, Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature, a Quebecor Média company; distributed by Messageries ADP)

Christian Saint-Germain, Montreal, Tomahawk
(Éditions du Noroît; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Maude Smith Gagnon, Montreal, Un drap. Une place.
(Éditions Triptyque; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Drama

Geneviève Billette, Montreal, Contre le temps
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Simon Boudreault, Montreal, D pour Dieu?
(Dramaturges Éditeurs; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Fabien Cloutier, Quebec City, Billy [Les jours de hurlement]
(Dramaturges Éditeurs; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Evelyne de la Chenelière, Montreal, La chair et autres fragments de l’amour
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Philippe Ducros, Montreal, Dissidents
(Éditions de L’instant même; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Non-fiction

Normand Chaurette, Montreal, Comment tuer Shakespeare
(Presses de l’Université de Montreal; distributed by Socadis)

Pierre Nepveu, Montreal, Gaston Miron : la vie d’un homme
(Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Pascal Riendeau, Toronto, Méditation et vision de l’essai :
Roland Barthes, Milan Kundera et Jacques Brault
(Éditions Nota bene; distributed by Socadis)

Yannick Roy, Montreal, La révélation inachevée : le personnage à l’épreuve de la vérité romanesque
(Presses de l’Université de Montreal; distributed by Socadis)

Children's literature - Text

Aline Apostolska, Montreal, Un été d’amour et de cendres
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Biz, Montreal, La chute de Sparte
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)

Louise Bombardier, Montreal, Quand j’étais chien, illustrations by Katty Maurey
(Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Camille Bouchard, Quebec City, Le coup de la girafe
(Soulières éditeur; distributed by ERPI / Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

François Gravel, Montreal,
(Éditions Quebec Amérique; distributed by Prologue)

Children's literature - Illustration

Marion Arbona, Montreal, Lapin-Chagrin et les jours d’Elko, text by Sylvie Nicolas
(Éditions Trampoline, now Éditions du Phœnix; distributed by Prologue)

Manon Gauthier, Montreal, Giroflée Pois-Cassé, text by Marie-Danielle Croteau
(Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by Messageries ADP)

Élise Gravel, Montreal, La clé à molette, text by Élise Gravel
(Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Émilie Leduc, Montreal, La ronde des mois, text by Émilie Leduc
(Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Katty Maurey, Montreal, Quand j’étais chien, text by Louise Bombardier
(Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Diffusion du livre Mirabel)

Translation (English to French)

Sophie Cardinal-Corriveau, Montreal, Un adieu à la musique
(Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Socadis)
French translation of Carolan’s Farewell by Charles Foran (Harper Perennial, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)

Dominique Fortier, Montreal, Une maison dans les nuages
(Éditions Alto; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French translation of The Prophet’s Camel Bell by Margaret Laurence (McClelland & Stewart)

Alain Roy, Montreal, Glenn Gould
(Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French translation of Glenn Gould by Mark Kingwell (Penguin Group Canada)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Montreal, Irma Voth
(Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French translation of Irma Voth by Miriam Toews (Alfred A. Knopf Canada)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Montreal, La petite cousine de Freud
(Éditions Hurtubise; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French translation of Distantly Related to Freud by Ann Charney (Cormorant Books)

The peer assessment committees

The finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards are chosen by peer assessment committees (seven English and seven French categories) appointed by the Canada Council. The committees, which meet separately, consider all eligible books published between September 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012 for English-language books and between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 for French-language books. This year, 1,016 titles in the English-language categories and 683 titles in the French-language categories were submitted.

English-language committees

Fiction: Randy Boyagoda (Toronto), Craig Boyko (Victoria, B.C.), Susan C. Haley (Wolfville, N.S.)
Poetry: Lydia Kwa (Vancouver), Brent MacLaine (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), Monty Reid (Gloucester, Ont.)
Drama: Daniel Karasik (Toronto), Colleen Wagner (Gagetown, N.B.), Marcus Youssef (Vancouver)
Non-fiction: Brian Thomas Brett (Salt Springs Island, B.C.), Michael Terry Harris (Lunenburg, N.S.), Marina Nemat (Aurora, Ont.)
Children’s Literature – Text: Deborah Delaronde-Falk (Winnipegosis, Man.), Richard Scrimger (Cobourg, Ont.), Maxine Trottier (Newman’s Cove, N.L.)
Children’s Literature – Illustration: Shea Chang (Toronto), Patsy Mackinnon (New Waterford, N.S.), Maxwell Newhouse (Cultus Lake, B.C.)
Translation – French to English: Dawn M. Cornelio (Guelph, Ont.), David Scott Hamilton (Vancouver), Denise Merkle (Moncton, N.B.)

French-language committees

Fiction:  Hugues Corriveau (Montreal), Christine Eddie (Quebec City), Eileen Lohka (Calgary)
Poetry: Robert Berrouët-Oriol (Montreal), Herménégilde Chiasson (Grand-Barachois, N.B.), Suzanne Jacob (Montreal)
Drama: Suzanne Lebeau (Montreal), Patrick Leroux (Pointe-Claire, Que.), Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon (Montreal)
Non-fiction: Monika Boehringer (Moncton, N.B.), Gaëtan Brulotte (Trois-Rivières, Que.), Shing Selao (Burlington, Vt.)
Children’s Literature – Text: Linda Amyot (Saint-Charles-Borromée, Que.), Laurent Poliquin (Winnipeg), Matthieu Simard (Montreal)
Children’s Literature – Illustration: Pascale Bonenfant (Quebec), Diego Herrera (Yayo) (Montreal), Marc Keelan-Bishop (Carrying Place, Ont.)
Translation – English to French: Isabelle Collombat (Quebec), Sathya Rao (Edmonton), Michel Saint‑Germain (Montreal)

Governor General’s Literary Awards

The Canada Council funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Each winner will receive $25,000 and a specially-bound copy of the winning book. The publisher of each winning book will receive $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.

Winners’ announcement

The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 13 at 10 a.m. at the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec, located at 4750 Henri-Julien in Montreal.

Awards presentation at Rideau Hall

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2012 GG Literary Awards on Wednesday, November 28 at 6 p.m. at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Marie-Ève Létourneau at the Rideau Hall Press Office, 613.998.0287 or marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca.

Media contact:

Mireille Allaire
Public Relations Officer
1.800.263.5588 or
613.566.4414, ext. 4523

Heather McAfee
Public Relations Officer
1.800.263.5588 or
613.566.4414, ext. 4166

To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:

English-language:
Diane Hargrave Public Relations
416.467.9954, ext. 104

Chris DiRaddo Communications
514.806.5087

French-language:
Communications Judith Landry
514.234.4899

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