The Canada Council for the Arts Reveals the Governor General’s Literary Awards Winners

The best books of 2022

November 16, 2022
The winning books of 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards.

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 16, 2022—It is with immense pleasure that the Canada Council for the Arts today revealed the 2022 winners of the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks).

The 14 best books published in Canada in 2022 were selected by peer assessment committees that followed a very rigorous process to deliberate and choose them from among the 70 finalists in seven categories, in both English and French.

“It is clear that our world is undergoing an accelerated transformation. We are living in a turbulent social climate, marked by struggles against inequalities. We are confronted daily with many complex phenomena that are more worrisome than ever, including misogyny, gender-based violence, colonialism, racism, the search for identity, and mental health. These are but some of the contemporary themes that are explored by these brilliant GGBooks winners. Once again, I invite you to celebrate the immense talent of these authors and to take a look at these invigorating works that challenge, redefine and question moral and social norms.”

— Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

About the GGBooks

  • Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards are some of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious prizes, with a total annual prize value of $450,000.
  • The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administered and promoted these awards since 1959.
  • The winners are selected by category-specific, language-based peer assessment committees (seven in English and seven in French), who this year considered eligible books published between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022. 
  • Each writer, translator, or illustrator whose book is selected as winner receives a $25,000 prize. Publishers receive $3,000 to promote the winning book; finalists receive $1,000 each.

2022 English-language winners (seven categories):


  • Pure Colour – Sheila Heti (Toronto, Ontario)
    Penguin Random House Canada


  • Shadow Blight – Annick MacAskill (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
    Gaspereau Press 


  • The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key – Dorothy Dittrich (Vancouver, British Columbia)


  • Aki-Wayn-Zih: A Person as Worthy as the Earth – Eli Baxter (London, Ontario) 
    McGill-Queen’s University Press 

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • The Summer of Bitter and Sweet – Jen Ferguson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States) 
    Heartdrum / HarperCollins 

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

  • The Sour Cherry Tree – Naseem Hrab (Toronto, Ontario) and Nahid Kazemi (Montréal, Quebec) 
    Owlkids Books 

Translation (from French to English)

  • History of the Jews in Quebec – Translated by Judith Weisz Woodsworth (Montréal, Quebec) 
    University of Ottawa Press. A translation of Histoire des Juifs du Québec, by Pierre Anctil. 

2022 French-language winners (seven categories):


  • Mille secrets mille dangers – Alain Farah (Montréal, Quebec)
    Le Quartanier 


  • Enfants du lichen – Maya Cousineau Mollen (Longueuil, Quebec)
    Éditions Hannenorak


  • Le poids des fourmis – David Paquet (Montréal, Quebec)
    Leméac Éditeur


  • La Voie romaine – Sylveline Bourion (Montréal, Quebec)
    Les Éditions du Boréal 

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • Cancer ascendant Autruche – Julie Champagne (Mirabel, Quebec)
    la courte échelle

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

  • Trèfle – Nadine Robert (Varennes, Quebec) and Qin Leng (Toronto, Ontario)
    Comme des géants

Translation (from English to French)

  • Partie de chasse au petit gibier entre lâches au club de tir du coin – Translated by Mélissa Verreault (Lévis, Quebec)
    Éditions Québec Amérique. A translation of Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club, by Megan Gail Coles.

Composition of the 2022 English-language peer assessment committees

Fiction: Norma Dunning, Thea Lim, John Steffler 
Poetry: Joe Denham, Stewart Donovan, Aisha Sasha John 
Drama: Keith Barker, Marie Leofeli Romero Barlizo, Alex Poch Goldin 
Non-fiction: Will Aitken, Madhur Anand, Jenna Butler 
Young People’s Literature – Text: Michael Hutchinson, Sharon Jennings, Wesley King 
Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Kate Beaton, Nhung N. Tran-Davies, Frank Viva 
Translation (from French to English): Anita Anand, Chantal Bilodeau, Steven Urquhart 

Composition of the 2022 French-language peer assessment committees

Fiction: Katia Belkhodja, Emmanuel Kattan, Alain Bernard Marchand 
Poetry: Éric Charlebois, Anne-Marie Desmeules, Nadine Ltaif 
Drama: Maxime Beauregard-Martin, Djennie Laguerre, Maryse Pelletier 
Non-fiction: Gabrielle Giasson-Dulude, Daniel Jacques, Eftihia Mihelakis 
Young People’s Literature – Text: Edith Kabuya, Daniel Marchildon, Mireille Villeneuve 
Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: David Bouchard, Beatriz Carvalho, Ninon Pelletier 
Translation (from English to French): Louise Ladouceur, Aurélie Laroche, Stanley Péan

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts contributes to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and supports its presence across Canada and around the world. The Council is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.” 

The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments support Canadian artists, authors, and arts groups and organizations. This support allows them to pursue artistic expression, create works of art, and promote and disseminate the arts and literature. 

Through its arts funding, communications, research, and promotion activities, the Council fosters ever-growing engagement of Canadians and international audiences in the arts. 

The Council’s Public Lending Right (PLR) program makes annual payments to creators whose works are held in Canadian public libraries. 

The Council’s Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts through exhibition and outreach activities. 

The Council is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a future of peace, reconciliation, equity, and sustainable development.

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Media relations contacts

For interviews with the winners:

Charlene Coy

C2C Communications


Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement


1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151