Meet the GG Winners and read the best CanLit of 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
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, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories
Published by McClelland & Stewart / Penguin Random House Canada
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, My Shoes Are Killing Me
Published by Biblioasis
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, carried away on the crest of a wave
Published by Playwrights Canada Press
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, Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive
Published by Harvard University Press
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
Young People's Literature (Text)
Caroline Pignat, The Gospel Truth
Published by Red Deer Press
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
Children's Literature (Illustrated Books)
JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers
Published by roundwood Books / House of Anansi Press
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
Translation (French to English)
Rhonda Mullins, Twenty-One Cardinals
Published by Coach House Books
Translation of Les héritiers de la mine by Jocelyne Saucier, Les Éditions XYZ
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
Nicolas Dickner, Six degrés de liberté
Published by Éditions Alto
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, Le mal du pays est un art oublié
Published by Éditions du Noroît
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, Pour réussir un poulet
Published by Les Éditions de L'instant même and Dramaturges Éditeurs
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, Honoré Beaugrand : la plume et l'épée (1848-1906)
Published by Les Éditions du Boréal
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
Children's Literature (Text)
Louis-Philippe Hébert, Marie Réparatrice
Published by Les Éditions de La Grenouillère
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
Children's Literature (Illustrated Books)
Patrick Doyon and André Marois, Le voleur de sandwichs
Published by Les Éditions de la Pastèque
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
Translation (English to French)
Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, Solomon Gursky
Published by Les Éditions du Boréal. French translation of Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler (Penguin Books Canada)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canada Council media contacts:
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5226 (613) 983-0716 (cell)
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4166
(613) 983-0847 (cell)
To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:
Geneviève Blouin, Genesis PR