TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canada Council for the Arts announced
today the 14 winners of the 2013 Governor General's Literary Awards.
The names of the winners and titles of their works are listed below,
together with peer assessment committee members' comments for each
"International attention has been particularly keen this year in
praising and celebrating Canadian literary talent," said Robert Sirman,
Director and CEO of the Canada Council. "The GG Literary Awards do the
same thing right here at home, illuminating the depth and diversity of
Canadian writing, and the 2013 GG winners give us 14 more reasons to
The Council funds and administers the GGs, the most significant literary
award program in Canada, providing close to $450,000 in prize money.
They are awarded in English and French in seven categories: fiction,
poetry, drama, non-fiction, children's literature (text and
illustration) and translation.
Biographical information and downloadable photos of the winners and book
covers are posted on the Canada Council's website. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GGBooks. Follow @CanadaCouncil and like our Facebook page for all the latest updates.
Eleanor Catton (Auckland, New Zealand), The Luminaries (McClelland & Stewart)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is an entire narrative universe with its own
mysterious cosmology. This exhilarating feat of literary design dazzles
with masterful storytelling. Each character is a planet - complex and
brilliantly revealed. Precise sensual prose illuminates greed, fear,
jealousy, longing - all that it means to be human.
Stéphanie Pelletier (Métis-sur-Mer, Que.), Quand les guêpes se taisent (Leméac Éditeur)
The short story collection Quand les guêpes se taisent by Stéphanie Pelletier proposes a sensitive and intimate vision of the
world based on everyday occurrences. Thanks to a masterful use of
language, stories that we care about and fundamental subjects - love
and heartbreak, life and death - this work is universal, and sometimes
Katherena Vermette, (Winnipeg), North End Love Songs (The Muses' Company)
In spare, minimalist language, North End Love Songs attends to the demands of Indigenous and European poetics, braiding an
elegant journey that takes us from Winnipeg's North End out into the
world. We enter the undocumented lives of its citizens and celebrate
them through Katherena Vermette's beautiful poems.
René Lapierre (Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Que.), Pour les désespérés seulement (Éditions Les Herbes rouges)
Pour les désespérés seulement by René Lapierre is a book for those who do not turn a blind eye to the
often desperate state of our world. A collection that brings us back to
what really is and that evokes, in counterpoint, nature and botany,
giving us a glimpse of 'the infinitesimal joy that watches over us.'
Nicolas Billon (Toronto), Fault Lines: Greenland - Iceland - Faroe Islands (Coach House Books)
Nicolas Billon's Fault Lines takes a unique and dramatic look at climate change. Greenland, Iceland
and the Faroe Islands inspire the playwright's provocative, theatrical
triptych. Urbane and sophisticated strategies of monologue are honed to
a laser probe into the interiors of contemporary consciousness.
Fanny Britt (Montreal), Bienveillance (Leméac Éditeur)
Bienveillance is a mature and polished work, and in it we sense the love that Fanny
Britt feels for her characters. In few words and with a lovely mastery
of dramatic writing, the author gives us a devastating tragedy that
reveals itself little by little, allowing us to perceive the enormity
of small disasters. This play is funny, disturbing, and rings
Sandra Djwa (Vancouver), Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page (McGill-Queen's University Press)
Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page by Sandra Djwa is a compelling portrait of a complex woman who pushed
boundaries in both her art and her life. An insightful discussion of
the power of her poetry, the book also illuminates Canada's literary
history in its formative years.
Yvon Rivard (Montreal), Aimer, enseigner (Les Éditions du Boréal)
What can literature tell us about teaching and its unavoidable dimension
of the erotic? This is the thorny and audacious question tackled by
Yvon Rivard. In luminous prose, the complex discussion in Aimer, enseigner underscores the importance, for teachers, of disappearing into the very
light that they conjure.
Children's Literature — Text
Teresa Toten (Toronto), The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Doubleday Canada)
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten is a transformative, high-energy novel that vibrates
with the creativity of both the writer and main character. Adam
struggles with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and a troubled
family life. His group therapy becomes an unlikely source of love and
friendship. A powerful story with brilliant language and unexpected
moments of humour.
Geneviève Mativat (Laval), À l'ombre de la grande maison (Éditions Pierre Tisseyre)
With À l'ombre de la grande maison, Geneviève Mativat gives us a novel about slavery, in an America that
has yet to wage its true revolution - that of liberty and equality for
all. In sober and effective prose, the author reveals her strong
talents as a storyteller.
Children's Literature — Illustration
Matt James (Toronto), Northwest Passage, text by Stan Rogers (Groundwood Books)
Matt James's unique illustrations set our imaginations soaring as they
steer us through Stan Rogers' famous ballad, Northwest Passage. The ink and acrylic paintings explode with raw effects and vivid
colour, sometimes settling to small ice-blue vignettes. Each page is
descriptive of the search that obsessed much of the world for hundreds
Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal), Jane, le renard & moi, text by Fanny Britt (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)
With sensitive and subtle images, Isabelle Arsenault succeeds
magnificently in depicting the overwhelming universe of a young girl.
With admirable restraint, the sober illustrations and quiet colours
strike a responsive chord as they broach the sensitive subject of
Donald Winkler (Montreal), The Major Verbs (Signal Editions)
English translation of Les verbes majeurs by Pierre Nepveu
In The Major Verbs, Donald Winkler has embraced the beauty, deep meaning and spirit of
Pierre Nepveu's elegantly simple poetry. The poems offer a vision of
things at work in our lives, like forms of verbs and things we see but
fail to see, such as fatigue, stones, death and survival.
Sophie Voillot (Montreal), L'enfant du jeudi (Les Éditions du Boréal)
French translation of Far to Go by Alison Pick
L'enfant du jeudi is a masterful work in every respect. Sophie Voillot has translated
this novel about memory with fluidity and transparency. With her
subtlety, her command of the language, and her poetic sensibility, she
has managed to transpose the feelings of the author and render a
historical reality that remains hard to even imagine accessible to
The peer assessment committees
The winners for the Governor General's Literary Awards are chosen by
peer assessment committees (seven English and seven French categories)
appointed by the Canada Council. The committees, which meet separately,
consider all eligible books published between September 1, 2012 and
September 30, 2013 for English-language books and between July 1, 2012
and June 30, 2013 for French-language books. This year, 978 titles in
the English-language categories and 624 titles in the French-language
categories were submitted.
Fiction: Kyo Maclear (Toronto), Beth Powning (Markhamville, N.B.), Thomas Wharton
Poetry: Hugh MacDonald (Montague, P.E.I.), Lee Maracle (Toronto), Rachel Zolf
Drama: Marcia Johnson (Toronto), Bryden MacDonald (Antigonish, N.S.), Charles
Non-fiction: Denise Chong (Ottawa), Madeline Sonik (Victoria), Jack Todd (Greenfield
Children's Literature (Text): Deirdre F. Kessler (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), Mahtab Narsimhan (Toronto),
Arthur Slade (Saskatoon)
Children's Literature (Illustration): Kady MacDonald Denton (Peterborough, Ont.), Maritza Miari (Dartmouth,
N.S.), Scot Ritchie (Vancouver)
Translation (French to English): Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood (Montreal), Louise Forsyth (Calgary), Mark
Fiction: Daniel Castillo Durante (Ottawa), Christiane Frenette (Lévis, Que.),
Hélène Rioux (Montreal)
Poetry: Franz Benjamin (Montreal), Margaret Michèle Cook (Ottawa), Philippe
Drama: Louise Bombardier (Montreal), Emma Haché (Ste-Marie St-Raphaël, N.B.),
Serge Mandeville (Montreal)
Non-fiction: Martin Jalbert (Montréal), Gisèle Kayata Eid (Montréal), Mariel
Children's Literature (Text): Marie-Célie Agnant (Montreal), Alain Beaulieu (Quebec), Aurélie Resch
Children's Literature (Illustration): Édith Bourget (Saint-Jacques, N.B.), France Brassard (Cowansville,
Que.), Jean-Paul Eid (Montréal)
Translation (English to French): Yolande Amzallag (Montreal), Michel Gaulin (Ottawa), Carole Noël
Each winner of the Governor General's Literary Awards receives $25,000.
The publisher of each winning book receives $3000 to support
promotional activities. Non-winning finalists receive $1000 in
recognition of their selection as finalists.
Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of
Canada, will present the 2013 GG Literary Awards on Thursday, November 28 at 6 pm at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. Media representatives wishing to
cover the awards presentation should contact Mélanie Villeneuve at the
Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-7280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image with caption: "Canada Council for the Arts - Governor General's Literary Awards (CNW Group/Canada Council for the Arts)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131113_C5996_PHOTO_EN_33178.jpg
Image with caption: "Winners seal (CNW Group/Canada Council for the Arts)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131113_C5996_PHOTO_EN_33177.jpg
SOURCE: Canada Council for the Arts
For further information:
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(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4166
To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:
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416-467-9954, ext. 104
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