Canadian book award season continues today with the presentation of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, better known as the GGs, in Ottawa, and several former National Magazine Award winners are among the finalists.
This most comprehensive of literary awards programs honours excellence in book-length fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, children’s text, children’s illustration and translation, with awards for both English- and French-language entries.
In the Fiction (English) category, the finalists include former National Magazine Award winner Shyam Selvadurai, for his novel The Hungry Ghosts. Mr. Selvadurai won NMA gold for fiction in 2006, for “The Demonness Kali” published in Toronto Life.
Former NMA finalist Kenneth Bonnert is also up for a GG in fiction, for The Lion Seeker. The rest of the GG shortlist includes Eleanor Catton, Joseph Boyden and Colin McAdam.
In the Children’s Illustration (French) category, two-time National Magazine Award winner Isabelle Arsenault is among the finalists, for Jane, le Renard et moi. Ms. Arsenault won a National Magazine Award earlier this year for her work in Quebec Science magazine.
In the Poetry (English) category, the shortlist includes two-time National Magazine Award finalist Don Domanski, for his collection Bite Down Little Whisper. Mr. Domanski’s most recent National Magazine Award nomination came in 2009, for the poem “Radiance and Counterpoint” published in Grain.
Read up on all the GG finalists here. For each category, a jury, comprised of fellow authors, translators and illustrators, makes the final selection. Each GG winner receives $25,000 and a specially-bound copy of their winning book. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to help promote the book. The total annual value of the GGs is close to $450,000.