The Canada Council for the Arts reveals the GGBooks finalists Seventy Canadian books up for the Governor General’s Literary Awards

Ottawa (Ontario), October 3, 2018 – The Canada Council for the Arts revealed the 2018 finalists for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks) today.

These 70 Canadian books are among the best published this year in seven categories, both in English and in French. They are the works that stood out to peer assessment committees from close to 1,400 titles submitted for consideration.

“Innovative, troubling, surprising and emotional. This year’s GGBooks finalists have once again proven just how rich, bold, diverse and strong our literature is. Whether they offer exciting ideas, extraordinary illustrations, inspiring verse or outstanding translations, the GGBooks finalists are sure to impress.”

– Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

About GGBooks:

• Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards are one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards program, with a total annual prize value of $450,000.

• The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administered and promoted the awards since 1959.

• Finalists are chosen by category-specific, language-based peer assessment committees (seven in English and seven in French), who consider eligible books published between September 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 for English-language books and between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 for French-language books.

• Each winner receives $25,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000.

• In their 82 years, the Governor General’s Literary Awards have celebrated more than 700 works by over 500 authors, poets, playwrights, translators and illustrators.

English-language finalists (seven categories)

Fiction:

• Beirut Hellfire Society – Rawi Hage (Montréal, Quebec) Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Jonny Appleseed – Joshua Whitehead (Calgary, Alberta) Arsenal Pulp Press

• The Red Word – Sarah Henstra (Toronto, Ontario)

ECW Press

• Women Talking – Miriam Toews (Toronto, Ontario) Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Zolitude – Paige Cooper (Montréal, Quebec) Biblioasis

Poetry:

• Because: A Lyric Memoir – Joshua Mensch (Prague, Czech Republic) W.W. Norton & Company

• Night Became Years – Jason Stefanik (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Coach House Books

• The Blue Clerk – Dionne Brand (Toronto, Ontario) McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada

• This Wound is a World – Billy-Ray Belcourt (Edmonton, Alberta) Frontenac House

• Wayside Sang – Cecily Nicholson (Burnaby, British Columbia) Talonbooks

Drama:

• Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom – Jordan Tannahill (London, United Kingdom) Playwrights Canada Press

• Gertrude and Alice – Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry with Karin Randoja (Hamilton, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario) Playwrights Canada Press

• Paradise Lost – Erin Shields (Montréal, Quebec) Playwrights Canada Press

• The Men in White – Anosh Irani (North Vancouver, British Columbia) House of Anansi Press

• This Is How We Got Here – Keith Barker (Toronto, Ontario) Playwrights Canada Press

Non-fiction:

• Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father – Carys Cragg (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) Arsenal Pulp Press

• Heart Berries – Terese Marie Mailhot (Evansville, Indiana) Doubleday Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Homes: A Refugee Story – Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung (Edmonton, Alberta)

Freehand Books

• Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age – Darrel J. McLeod (Sooke, British Columbia) Douglas & McIntyre

• The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History – Aida Edemariam (Oxford, United Kingdom) Knopf Canada

Young People’s Literature – Text:

• Ebb & Flow – Heather Smith (Waterloo, Ontario) Kids Can Press

• Learning to Breathe – Janice Lynn Mather (Delta, British Columbia) Simon & Schuster

• Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster – Jonathan Auxier (Swissvale, Pennsylvania) Puffin Canada/Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers

• The Journey of Little Charlie – Christopher Paul Curtis (Windsor, Ontario) Scholastic Canada

• Winnie’s Great War – Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut (Toronto, Ontario) HarperCollins Publishers

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

• Africville – Shauntay Grant and Eva Campbell (Halifax, Nova Scotia/Victoria, British Columbia) Groundwood Books

• At the Pond – Werner Zimmermann (Guelph, Ontario) North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

• Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes – Wab Kinew and Joe Morse (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Toronto, Ontario) Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada

• Ocean Meets Sky – The Fan Brothers (Toronto, Ontario) Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

• They Say Blue – Jillian Tamaki (Toronto, Ontario) Groundwood Books

Translation (from French to English):

• Descent into Night – Translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott (Montréal, Quebec) Mawenzi House Publishers; translation of Explication de la nuit by Edem Awumey, Les Éditions du Boréal

• Explosions : Michael Bay and the Pyrotechnics of the Imagination – Translated by Aleshia Jensen (Montréal, QC) QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books; translation of Des explosions by Mathieu Poulin, Les Éditions de Ta Mère

• Jacob Isaac Segal: A Montreal Yiddish Poet and His Milieu – Translated by Vivian Felsen (Toronto, Ontario) University of Ottawa Press; translation of Jacob-Isaac Segal (1896-1954) : un poète yiddish de Montréal et son milieu by Pierre Anctil, Les Presses de l’Université Laval

• Little Beast – Translated by Rhonda Mullins (Montréal, Quebec) Coach House Books; translation of Barbe by Julie Demers, Héliotrope

• Songs for the Cold of Heart– Translated by Peter McCambridge (Cap-Rouge, Quebec) QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books; translation of La fiancée américaine by Eric Dupont, Marchand de feuilles

French-language finalists (seven categories)

Fiction:

• De synthèse – Karoline Georges (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec) Éditions Alto

• La bête creuse – Christophe Bernard (Burlington, Vermont) Le Quartanier

• Les noyades secondaires – Maxime Raymond Bock (Montréal, Quebec) Le Cheval d’août

• Manikanetish – Naomi Fontaine (Québec, Quebec) Mémoire d’encrier

• noms fictifs – Olivier Sylvestre (Montréal, Quebec) Hamac, a division of Les éditions du Septentrion

Poetry:

• Cruauté du jeu – France Théoret (Montréal, Quebec) Écrits des Forges

• La dévoration des fées – Catherine Lalonde (Montréal, Quebec) Le Quartanier

• La raison des fleurs – Michaël Trahan (Montréal, Quebec) Le Quartanier

• Le revers – Roxane Desjardins (Montréal, Quebec) Les Herbes rouges

• Ne faites pas honte à votre siècle – Daria Colonna (Montréal, Quebec Poètes de brousse

Drama:

• Enfant insignifiant! – Michel Tremblay (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur

• Invisibles – Guillaume Lapierre-Desnoyers (Montréal, Quebec)

L’instant même

• J’aime Hydro – Christine Beaulieu (Montréal, Quebec) Atelier 10

• Os : la montagne blanche – Steve Gagnon (Montréal, Quebec) L’instant même

• Venir au monde – Anne-Marie Olivier (Québec, Quebec) Atelier 10

Non-fiction:

• Avant l’après : voyages à Cuba avec George Orwell – Frédérick Lavoie (Montréal, Quebec) La Peuplade

• Histoire des Juifs du Québec – Pierre Anctil (Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Le piège de la liberté : les peuples autochtones dans l’engrenage des régimes coloniaux – Denys Delâge and Jean-Philippe Warren (St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec / Verdun, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Les chants du mime : en compagnie d’Étienne Decroux – Gabrielle Giasson-Dulude (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions du Noroît

• Mégantic : une tragédie annoncée – Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny (Val-David, Quebec) Les Éditions Écosociété

Young People’s Literature – Text:

• 13 000 ans et des poussières – Camille Bouchard (Fortierville, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

• Ferdinand F., 81 ans, chenille – Mario Brassard (Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

• Les Marées – Brigitte Vaillancourt (Eastman, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Maman veut partir – Jonathan Bécotte (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur

• Un dernier songe avant le grand sommeil – Jocelyn Boisvert (Havre-aux-Maisons, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

• Jules et Jim : frères d’armes – Jacques Goldstyn (Mont-Royal, Quebec) Bayard Canada

• Le chemin de la montagne – Marianne Dubuc (Montréal, Quebec) Comme des géants

• Les mots d’Eunice – Gabriella Gendreau and Nahid Kazemi (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions de l’Isatis

• Lili Macaroni : je suis comme je suis! – Nicole Testa and Annie Boulanger (Rimouski, Quebec/Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec)

Dominique et compagnie

• Une histoire de cancer qui finit bien – Marianne Ferrer and India Desjardins (Lasalle, Quebec/Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions de la Pastèque

Translation (from English to French):

• De l’utilité de l’ennui : textes de balle – Translated by Daniel Grenier and William S. Messier (Québec, Quebec / Sherbrooke, Quebec) Les Éditions de Ta Mère; translation of The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays by Andrew Forbes, Invisible Publishing

• Le Monde selon Barney – Translated by Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné (Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal; translation of Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler, Knopf Canada

• Le saint patron des merveilles – Translated by Catherine Leroux (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions Alto; translation of Fabrizio’s Return by Mark Frutkin, Vintage Canada

• Naissances – Translated by Laurence Gough (Montréal, Quebec) Marchand de feuilles; translation of How You Were Born by Kate Cayley, Pedlar Press

• Sweetland – Translated by Éric Fontaine (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur; translation of Sweetland by Michael Crummey, Doubleday Canada

English-language peer assessment committees:

Fiction: Andrea MacPherson, Shani Mootoo, Craig Francis Power Poetry: Garry Gottfriedson, Sachiko Murakami, Patrick Warner Drama: Rosa Laborde, Ian Ross, Kent Stetson Non-fiction: Ted Bishop, Leslie Shimotakahara, Merrily Weisbord Young People’s Literature – Text: Shelley Hrdlitschka, Philip Roy, Sarah Tsiang Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Adwoa Badoe, Renata Liwska, Hugh MacDonald Translation (from French to English): Dawn M. Cornelio, Peter Feldstein, Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo

French-language peer assessment committees:

Fiction: Martine Batanian, Carole David, André Girard Poetry: Jean-Marc Desgent, Lise Gaboury-Diallo, Marie-Andrée Gill Drama: Nathalie Boisvert, Herménégilde Chiasson, Dave Jenniss Non-fiction: Ralph Elawani, Lucie Hotte, Jean-Jacques Pelletier Young People’s Literature – Text: Simon Boulerice, Michèle Laframboise, Hada López Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Oussama Mezher, Paul Roux, Danielle Simard Translation (from English to French) : Christophe Bernard, Rose Després, Geneviève Letarte

Important dates:

• October 30: The 14 winning books will be announced.

• November 28: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present the awards at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.

• November 28 and 29: Public readings will take place at the Canada Council, located at 150 Elgin St., Ottawa, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the GGBooks winners.

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national arts funder. Its grants and payments to artists and arts organizations benefit Canadians by ensuring a vibrant arts sector in Canada. In 2016-17, the Canada Council allocated 196.8 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through its grants, prizes and payments. It also conducts research, convenes activities and works with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. The Canada Council Art Bank is a national collection of over 17,000 Canadian contemporary artworks – all accessible to the public through rental, loan and outreach programs. The Canada Council also distributes payments to over 17,000 Canadian authors annually through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries. Furthermore, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the general authority of the Canada Council.