The Canada Council for the Arts Reveals the 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards Winners

The 14 winning GGBooks of 2023

November 8, 2023

Ottawa, November 8, 2023 ― The Canada Council for the Arts is pleased to announce the 2023 winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks). These prestigious awards celebrate remarkable literary works published in Canada, in both official languages, across seven categories, and include books for readers of all ages.

“Each of the winning books in this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards gives us, as readers, something new and unique to explore. The winners of the 2023 GGBooks are memorable and distinct in how they connect us to the current moment. They are being celebrated and are worth discovering for what has been captured on the page, and because they will go on to influence literature and generations of readers to come.”

— Michelle Chawla, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

The 14 winning books were chosen by the same 14 peer assessment committees that were convened to select the 35 English and 35 French finalists announced several weeks ago. Respectively, this year’s peer assessment committees followed a rigorous process in their deliberation and selection of the winners from among the range of nominated books published in Canada in 2022–23.

About the GGBooks

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

English-language winners for 2023 (seven categories)

A banner of GGBooks English-language winners.


  • Chrysalis – Anuja Varghese (Hamilton, Ontario) House of Anansi Press


  • Xanax Cowboy – Hannah Green (Winnipeg, Manitoba) House of Anansi Press


  • William Shakespeareʼs As You Like It: A Radical Retelling – Cliff Cardinal (Toronto, Ontario) Playwrights Canada Press


  • Unearthing – Kyo Maclear (Toronto, Ontario) Knopf, Penguin Random House Canada

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • The Probability of Everything – Sarah Everett (Edmonton, Alberta) Clarion Books, HarperCollins

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

  • When You Can Swim – Jack Wong (Halifax, Nova Scotia) Scholastic Canada

Translation (from French to English)

  • Rosaʼs Very Own Personal Revolution – Peter McCambridge (Québec City, Quebec) QC Fiction, Baraka Books. A translation of La logeuse, by Éric Dupont.

French-language winners for 2023 (seven categories)

A banner of GGBooks French-language winners.


  • Galumpf – Marie Hélène Poitras (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions Alto


  • Atikᵁ utei. Le cœur du caribou – Rita Mestokosho (Ekuanitshit, Quebec) Mémoire dʼencrier


  • Gros gars – Mathieu Gosselin (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions Somme toute


  • Faux rebelles : Les dérives du politiquement incorrect – Philippe Bernier Arcand (Ottawa, Ontario) Éditions Poètes de brousse

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • Linoubliable – Lou Beauchesne (Montréal, Quebec) la courte échelle

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

  • Le plus petit sauveur du monde – Samuel Larochelle and Eve Patenaude (both from Montréal, Quebec) Éditions XYZ

Translation (from English to French)

  • Dans lʼombre du soleil: Réflexions sur la race et les récits – Catherine Ego (Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal. A translation of Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling, by Esi Edugyan.

Makeup of the 2023 English-language peer assessment committees

Fiction: Carleigh Baker, Neil Bissoondath and Jessica Westhead
Poetry: Mary Dalton, Moez Surani and Gillian Sze
Drama: Aaron Bushkowsky, Tai Amy Grauman and Julie Tamiko Manning
Non-fiction: KatłĮà Lafferty, Lorri Neilsen Glenn and Rinaldo Walcott
Young People’s Literature – Text: Cheryl Foggo, June Hur and Tom Ryan
Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Marianne Ferrer, Lee Edward Födi and Mahak Jain
Translation (from French to English): Bilal Hashmi, Melissa Bull and Pablo Strauss

Makeup of the 2023 French-language peer assessment committees

Fiction: Edem Awumey, Danielle Dussault and Tassia Trifiatis-Tezgel
Poetry: Mimi Haddam, Gabriel Osson and Judy Quinn
Drama: Katrine Deniset, Isabelle Hubert and Gabriel Léger-Savard
Non-fiction: Karim Akouche, Martine Jacquot and Julie Kurtness
Young People’s Literature – Text: Cheyda Haramein, Jean-François Sénéchal and Danièle Simpson
Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Julien Chung and Andrée Lévesque-Sioui
Translation (from English to French): Rose Després, Benoit Laflamme and Marie-Thé Morin

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts 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 contribute to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and support its presence across Canada and abroad. The Council’s investments foster greater engagement in the arts among audiences in Canada and internationally.

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Media relations contacts

For media requests including interviews with artists, please contact:

Charlene Coy

C2C Communications


Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement


1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151