GGLA 2015 Winners / Gagnants

Meet the GG Winners and read the best CanLit of 2015!

28 October 2015

Ottawa, October 28, 2015 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the winners of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards. See the full list below.

The Canada Council supports and promotes the arts in Canada. The Governor General’s Literary Awards, Canada’s foremost book prizes, play an important role in promoting and celebrating our country’s literature. Canadian literature is a faithful companion from childhood through to the twilight of our lives. It informs and comforts, provokes and delights – through our books we travel and we dream. The GG Awards recognize the excellence and enormous capacity for renewal of literature in Canada.

Simon Brault, Director & CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

Important dates

Tuesday, December 1, 11:45 – 1:00 pm: Readers are invited to meet the English-language GG winners at a public reading and book signing at the Canada Council, 150 Elgin, Ottawa (event with French-language winners on Wednesday, December 2).


English-language winners :

Guy Vanderhaeghe
Guy Vanderhaeghe Photo: Matt Smith

Fiction

Guy VanderhaegheDaddy Lenin and Other Stories

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Book Details

Published by McClelland & Stewart / Penguin Random House Canada

Jury Statement

Guy Vanderhaeghe's Daddy Lenin and Other Stories is the work of an assured writer who needs no pyrotechnics to keep us reading. Each story is superbly crafted, razor-sharp, wickedly funny. The reader is carried along in the hands of a master, a seasoned professional at the top of his game.

Jury Members: Jen Sookfong Lee, K.D. Miller, Jeffrey Moore

Robyn Sarah
Robyn Sarah Photo: Allen McEachern

Poetry

Robyn SarahMy Shoes Are Killing Me

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Biblioasis

Jury Statement

Robyn Sarah’s My Shoes Are Killing Me is a lyrical power. A richly inventive, precise, meditative collection. Here “fire can kindle fire” the way excellence can kindle excellence. This is a transformative work that continuously surprises the reader.

Jury Members: Robert Hilles, Tammy Armstrong, Souvankham Thammavongsa

David Yee
David Yee Photo: Nick Wong

Drama

David Yeecarried away on the crest of a wave

Toronto

Book Details

Published by Playwrights Canada Press

Jury Statement

David Yee's carried away on the crest of a wave is a play to make the stars sing. Full of indelible imagery and fresh, powerful language, it gives a human face to an almost unimaginably huge catastrophe and leaves us with a boundless sense of hope. To read it is to be moved.

Jury Members: Leanna Brodie, Michael A. Miller, Bernardine Stapleton

Mark L. Winston
Mark L. Winston Photo: Belle Ancell

Non-fiction

Mark L. WinstonBee Time: Lessons from the Hive

Vancouver

Book Details

Published by Harvard University Press

Jury Statement

In his exquisite Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, Mark L. Winston distills a life's devotion to the study of bees into a powerful and lyrical meditation on humanity. This compelling book inspires us to reevaluate our own relationships both with each other and the natural world. Vital reading for our time.

Jury Members: Stephen R. Bown, Joseph Khoury, Alison Wearing

Caroline Pignat
Caroline Pignat Photo: Martin Lipman

Young People's Literature (Text)

Caroline PignatThe Gospel Truth

Ottawa

Book Details

Published by Red Deer Press

Jury Statement

Caroline Pignat's The Gospel Truth is the powerful and poignant story of 16-year-old Phoebe, a slave girl in 1858 Virginia. Written in lyrical and elegant free verse, it is an unflinching look at the brutality of slavery and Phoebe's struggle for freedom and truth. Ultimately, this is a story of hope.

Jury Members: Jan L. Coates, Rachna Gilmore, David A. Poulsen

JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith
JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith Photo: Nick Wong

Children's Literature  (Illustrated Books)

JonArno Lawson and Sydney SmithSidewalk Flowers

Toronto

Book Details

Published by roundwood Books / House of Anansi Press

Jury Statement

Sidewalk Flowers, with a poignant concept by JonArno Lawson and tender and evocative illustrations by Sydney Smith, is a wordless tale that is simple and complex, wistful and big-hearted. This perfect collaboration is a celebration of solitude and unnoticed acts of kindness.

Jury Members: Dawn Baker, Judd Palmer, Farida Zaman

Rhonda Mullins
Rhonda Mullins Photo: Allen McEachern

Translation (French to English)

Rhonda MullinsTwenty-One Cardinals

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Coach House Books
Translation of Les héritiers de la mine by Jocelyne Saucier, Les Éditions XYZ

Jury Statement

Rhonda Mullins' translation of Twenty-One Cardinals expertly embodies the multiple voices in Jocelyne Saucier's complex novel. More than inhabiting the world of one writer, Mullins single-handedly performs the roles of an entire cast of characters. As a translator, her virtuosic deftness is in the restrained power of her writing.

Jury Members: Jo-Anne Elder, Bobby Theodore, Anne-Marie Wheeler

French-language winners

Nicolas Dickner
Nicolas Dickner Photo: Allen McEachern

Fiction

Nicolas DicknerSix degrés de liberté

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Éditions Alto

Jury Statement

Rich and skilfully constructed, Six degrés de liberté is a tender and finely written novel. Nicolas Dickner, well versed in the advances of technology, describes with intelligence and humour the ravages of globalization and unbridled capitalism while creating characters who push back all the boundaries.

Jury Members: Jan Dominique, Perrine Leblanc, Claude Le Bouthillier

Joël Pourbaix
Joël Pourbaix Photo: Allen McEachern

Poetry

Joël PourbaixLe mal du pays est un art oublié

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Éditions du Noroît

Jury Statement

Le mal du pays est un art oublié resonates with the echoes of a subtle presence. Open and attuned to what is, this poetry invites reflection. Joël Pourbaix is curious about the world, and he explores the enigma of the everyday: “I walk the line between the visible and the invisible; what more could you ask for?

Jury Members: Gary Klang, Andrée Lacelle, Charles Sagalane

Fabien Cloutier
Fabien Cloutier Photo: Allen McEachern

Drama

Fabien CloutierPour réussir un poulet

Longueuil, Que.

Book Details

Published by Les Éditions de L'instant même and Dramaturges Éditeurs

Jury Statement

In gritty, rhythmic language, Fabien Cloutier presents the kind of working class characters who aren’t often given a chance to speak in the theatre, and he does so with audacity and without condescension. Pour réussir un poulet is a raw and cruel portrait of the exploitation of human misery. You won’t come away from this play unscathed.

Jury Members: Jasmine Dubé, Mélanie Léger, Ally Ntumba Beya

Jean-Philippe Warren
Jean-Philippe Warren Photo: Allen McEachern

Non-fiction

Jean-Philippe WarrenHonoré Beaugrand : la plume et l'épée (1848-1906)

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Les Éditions du Boréal

Jury Statement

In Honoré Beaugrand : la plume et l'épée (1848-1906), Jean-Philippe Warren explores the many facets of the cosmopolitan, complex and fascinating personality of a major figure in the history of Quebec. The author allies intellectual rigour and originality in his stylistic approach.

Jury Members: Djemila Benhabib, Lise Gauvin, Kenneth Meadwell

Louis-Philippe Hébert
Louis-Philippe Hébert Photo: Allen McEachern

Children's Literature (Text)

Louis-Philippe HébertMarie Réparatrice

Wentworth-Nord, Que.

Book Details

Published by Les Éditions de La Grenouillère

Jury Statement

In a candid and poignant voice, Marie Réparatrice draws us into the shimmering universe of an 8-year-old girl. Louis-Philippe Hébert’s story in free verse breathes with the rhythm of childhood. Filled with subtlety and simplicity, the story pulls the reader into an intense spiral of emotion, and we are left dazzled by its poetic beauty.

Jury Members: Melvin Gallant, Marthe Pelletier, Andrée Poulin

JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith
JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith Photo: Nick Wong

Children's Literature (Illustrated Books)

Patrick Doyon and André MaroisLe voleur de sandwichs

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Les Éditions de la Pastèque

Jury Statement

Le voleur de sandwichs by André Marois is a captivating and cleverly plotted story that harmonizes beautifully with the originality and skill of Patrick Doyon’s graphic style. The two have succeeded in creating a well-paced, funny and dynamic work that is a delightful read.

Jury Members: Robert Freynet, Roger Girard (Rogé), Badiâa Sekfali

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné
Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné Photo: Allen McEachern

Translation (English to French)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul GagnéSolomon Gursky

Montreal

Book Details

Published by Les Éditions du Boréal. French translation of Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler (Penguin Books Canada)

Jury Statement

In this new translation of Mordecai Richler’s Solomon Gursky Was Here, Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné render brilliantly the energy, humour, irony and colour of a social fresco that spans five generations, taking us from the Old World to the New.

Jury Members: Luc Baranger, Annie Brisset, Marc Collin


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 2015 GG Literary Awards on Wednesday, December 2 at 6 pm at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Marie-Ève Létourneau at the Rideau Hall Press Office, at 613-998-0287 or marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca.

Canada Council media contacts:

Mireille Allaire
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5226 (613) 983-0716 (cell)
E-mail: mireille.allaire@canadacouncil.ca

Heather McAfee
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4166
(613) 983-0847 (cell)
E-mail: heather.mcafee@canadacouncil.ca

To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:

Geneviève Blouin, Genesis PR
514-887-8187
gen@genesispr.com