The 2014 GG shortlist is here

Governor General's Literary Awards finalist announcement October 7

Ottawa, October 7, 2014 –
The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the 2014 shortlist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. See the full list below.


“This year’s list of finalists contains powerful novels and poems, imaginative children’s books, skillful translations, entrancing dramas and enlightening non-fiction,” said Canada Council Director and CEO, Simon Brault. “They are all meaningful books in which we can, as readers and Canadians, lose ourselves and find ourselves.”

Important dates

November 18, 10 am: Stay tuned to for the digital announcement of the GG winners.

November 26, 11:30 – 1:30 pm: Meet the English-language GG winners at public events at the Canada Council’s offices, 150 Elgin in Ottawa (Event with French-language winners on Thursday, November 27).

Download images of the shortlisted books.

English-language finalists


Michael Crummey, (St. John's)Sweetland (Doubleday Canada)

Bill Gaston, (Victoria) – Juliet Was a Surprise (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Canada)

Claire Holden Rothman, (Westmount, Que.) – My October (Penguin Canada)

Thomas King, (Guelph, Ont.) – The Back of the Turtle (HarperCollins Publishers)

Joan Thomas, (Winnipeg) – The Opening Sky (McClelland & Stewart)


Sadiqa de Meijer, (Kingston) – Leaving Howe Island (Oolichan Books)

Julie Joosten, (Toronto) – Light Light (BookThug)

Christopher Levenson, (Vancouver) – Night Vision (Quattro Books)

Garth Martens, (Victoria) – Prologue for the Age of Consequence (House of Anansi Press)

Arleen Paré, (Victoria) – Lake of Two Mountains (Brick Books)


Rick Chafe, (Winnipeg) – The Secret Mask (Playwrights Canada Press)

Sean Dixon, (Toronto) – A God in Need of Help (Coach House Books)

Janet Munsil, (Victoria) – That Elusive Spark (Playwrights Canada Press)

Jordan Tannahill, (Toronto) – Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays (Playwrights Canada Press)


Michael Harris, (Toronto) – The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection (HarperCollins Publishers)

Arno Kopecky, (Squamish, B.C.) – The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway (Douglas & McIntyre)

Edmund Metatawabin with Alexandra Shimo, (Fort Albany, Ont. /Toronto) – Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey through the Turbulent Waters of Native History (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Maria Mutch, (North Kingstown, Rhode Island) – Know the Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Children’s Literature (Text)

Jonathan Auxier, (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – The Night Gardener (Penguin Canada)

Lesley Choyce, (East Laurencetown, N.S.) – Jeremy Stone (Red Deer Press)

Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-TinsleySkraelings (Inhabit Media Inc.)

Raziel Reid, (Vancouver) – When Everything Feels like the Movies (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Mariko Tamaki, (Oakland, Calif.) – This One Summer (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Children’s Literature (Illustration)

Marie-Louise Gay, (Montreal) – Any Questions?, text by Marie-Louise Gay (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Qin Leng, (Toronto) – Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, text by Chieri Uegaki (Kids Can Press)

Renata Liwska, (Calgary) – Once Upon a Memory, text by Nina Laden (Little, Brown and Company)

Julie Morstad, (Vancouver) – Julia, Child, text by Kyo Maclear (Tundra Books)

Jillian Tamaki, (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – This One Summer, text by Mariko Tamaki (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Translation (French to English)

Peter Feldstein, (Montreal) – Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography (McGill-Queen's University Press)

English translation of Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-1960) : biographie critique et analyse de l’œuvre, by François-Marc Gagnon (Éditions Fides)

Sheila Fischman, (Montreal) – Wonder (McClelland & Stewart)

English translation of Les larmes de saint Laurent, by Dominique Fortier (Éditions Alto)

Linda Gaboriau, (Montreal) – Christina, The Girl King (Talonbooks)

English translation of Christine, la reine-garçon, by Michel Marc Bouchard (Leméac Éditeur)

Maureen Labonté, (Montreal) – And Slowly Beauty (Talonbooks)

English translation of Lentement la beauté, by Michel Nadeau with Marie-Josée Bastien, Lorraine Côté, Hugues Frenette, Pierre-François Legendre, Véronika Makdissi-Warren, and Jack Robitaille (Les éditions de L'instant même)

Rhonda Mullins, (Montreal) – Guyana (Coach House Books)

 English translation of Guyana by Élise Turcotte (Leméac Éditeur)

French-language finalists


Michael Delisle, (Montreal) – Le feu de mon père (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Alain Farah, (Montreal) – Pourquoi Bologne (Le Quartanier)

Robert Lalonde, (Montreal) – C'est le cœur qui meurt en dernier (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Andrée A. Michaud, (St-Sébastien-de-Frontenac, Que.) – Bondrée (Éditions Québec Amérique)

Larry Tremblay, (Montreal) – L'orangeraie (Éditions Alto)


José Acquelin, (Montreal) – Anarchie de la lumière (les éditions du passage)

Joséphine Bacon, (Montreal) – Un thé dans la toundra / Nipishapui nete mushuat (Mémoire d'encrier)

Paul Chanel Malenfant, (Rimouski, Que.) – Toujours jamais (Éditions de l'Hexagone)

Georgette LeBlanc, (Pointe-de-l'Église, N.S.) – Prudent (Les Éditions Perce-Neige)

Julie Stanton, (Quebec) – Mémorial pour Geneviève et autres tombeaux (Les Heures bleues)


François Archambault, (Montreal) – Tu te souviendras de moi (Leméac Éditeur)

Simon Boudreault, (Montreal) – As is (tel quel) (Dramaturges Éditeurs)

Carole Fréchette, (Montreal) – Small Talk (Leméac Éditeur / Actes Sud)

Olivier Kemeid, (Montreal) – Moi, dans les ruines rouges du siècle (Leméac Éditeur)

Étienne Lepage, (Montreal) – Histoires pour faire des cauchemars (Dramaturges Éditeurs)


Catherine Ferland and Dave Corriveau, (Quebec) – La Corriveau : de l'histoire à la légende (Les éditions du Septentrion)

Bertrand Gervais, (Montreal) – Un défaut de fabrication (Les Éditions du Boréal)

Nicolas Lévesque and Catherine Mavrikakis, (L'Assomption, Que. / Montreal) – Ce que dit l'écorce (Éditions Nota bene)

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, (Montreal) – Tenir tête (Lux Éditeur)

Jean-Jacques Pelletier, (Lévis, Que.) – Questions d'écriture : réponses à des lecteurs (Éditions Hurtubise)

Children’s Literature (Text)

Linda Amyot, (St-Charles-Borromée, Que.) – Le jardin d'Amsterdam (Leméac Éditeur)

India Desjardins, (Montreal) – Le Noël de Marguerite (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)

Patrick Isabelle, (Montreal) – Eux (Leméac Éditeur)

Jean-François Sénéchal, (Saint-Lambert, Que.) – Feu (Leméac Éditeur)

Mélanie Tellier, (Montreal) – Fiona (Marchand de feuilles)

Children’s Literature (Illustration)

Pascal Blanchet, (Trois-Rivières, Que.) – Le Noël de Marguerite, text by India Desjardins (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)

Marianne Dubuc, (Montreal) – Le lion et l'oiseau, text by Marianne Dubuc (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)

Manon Gauthier, (Montreal) –  Grand-mère, elle et moi…, text by Yves Nadon (Éditions Les 400 coups)

Isabelle Malenfant, (Montreal) – Pablo trouve un trésor, text by Andrée Poulin (Éditions Les 400 coups)

Pierre Pratt, (Montreal) – Gustave, text by Rémy Simard (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)

Translation (English to French)

Éric Fontaine, (Montreal) – Les Blondes (Éditions Alto)

French translation of The Blondes, by Emily Schultz (Doubleday Canada)

Hervé Juste, (Montreal) – Poisson d'avril (Les Éditions du Boréal)

French translation of April Fool's Day, by Josip Novakovich (HarperCollins Publishers)

Daniel Poliquin, (Ottawa) – L'Indien malcommode : un portrait inattendu des Autochtones d'Amérique du Nord (Les Éditions du Boréal)

French translation of The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, by Thomas King (Doubleday Canada)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, (Montreal) – La femme Hokusai (Éditions Québec Amérique)

French translation of The Ghost Brush, by Katherine Govier (HarperCollins Publishers)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, (Montreal) – Une brève histoire des Indiens au Canada (Les Éditions du Boréal)

French translation of A Short History of Indians in Canada, by Thomas King (HarperCollins Publishers)

Discover more about Canada’s best books

Go online to discover the year’s best books and their authors, illustrators and translators, on the new interactive GG website. Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. Like the GGs on Facebook for all the latest updates.

Governor General’s Literary Awards

The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards, Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary awards program with a total value of $450,000.  Each winner will receive $25,000. The publisher of each winning book will receive $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000.

Awards presentation at Rideau Hall

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2014 GG Literary Awards on Wednesday, November 26 at 6 pm at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Julie Rocheleau at the Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-7280 or

The 2014 peer assessment committees

The finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards are chosen by peer assessment committees, who consider all eligible books published between September 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 for English-language books and between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 for French-language books. This year, 966 titles in the English-language categories and 637 in the French-language categories were submitted.

English-language committees

Fiction: Peter Behrens, Elaine McCluskey, Uma Parameswaran

Poetry: Sean Howard, Sid Marty, Carolyn Marie Souaid

Drama: Aaron Bushkowsky, Catherine Hernandez, Wendy Lill

Non-fiction: Christopher Dewdney, Hadani Ditmars, Robert Finley

Children’s Literature (Text): Hiromi Goto, Jessica Scott Kerrin, Kevin Sylvester

Children’s Literature (Illustration): Christina Leist, Ron Lightburn, Ange Zhang

Translation (French to English): Wayne Grady, Susan Ouriou, George Tombs

French-language committees

Fiction: Gracia Couturier, Stéfani Meunier, Stanley Péan

Poetry: Salah Beddiari, Tania Langlais, Dyane Léger

Drama: Claude Guilmain, Pier-Luc Lasalle, Pascale Rafie

Non-fiction: Jacques Beaudry, Nadine Mackenzie, Christiane Ndiaye

Children’s Literature (Text) : Mario Brassard, Françoise Enguehard, Lucia Flores

Children’s Literature (Illustration): Steve Beshwaty, Sylvie Daigneault, Joanne Ouellet

Translation (English to French): Louis Jolicoeur, Christine Klein-Lataud, Maryse Warda


Canada Council media contacts:

Mireille Allaire
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4523
(613) 314-0352 (cell)

Heather McAfee
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4166
(613) 218-0066 (cell)


To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:


Diane Hargrave Public Relations
416-467-9954, ext. 104



Christine Langlois
Hillbrooke Group