Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts

October 16, 2007 11:00 ET

The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Finalists for the 2007 Governor General's Literary Awards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2007) - The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the names of the finalists for the 2007 Governor General's Literary Awards, in English and in French, in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (text and illustration) and translation.

A total of 1,417 books have been nominated for this year's awards. Four of the 70 shortlisted books are collaborations involving two authors or translators, and 40 of the 74 individual finalists are nominated for the first time. At least 11 of the finalists are under the age of 35.

The names of the finalists and the titles of their works are listed below, together with the juries' citations for each work. The names of the members of the 14 juries (seven English and seven French) are listed at the conclusion of this release.

The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General's Literary Awards. For the first time this year, the value of each award will be $25,000, increased from $15,000 in celebration of the Canada Council's 50th anniversary. Each winner will also receive a specially-crafted copy of the winning book. The publisher of each winning book will receive $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists will each receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the Awards to approximately $450,000.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 10 a.m. EST at La Grande Bibliotheque de Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, in Montreal.

BMO Financial Group has been the sponsor of the Governor General's Literary Awards since 1988. BMO's generous contribution has allowed, among other things, the production of material aimed at promoting the finalists and winners.

"We are proud to support Canada's literary excellence and join the Canada Council in congratulating all the finalists, celebrating their important contribution to Canadian writing, illustration and translation, and promoting their works in bookstores, schools, libraries and events across the country," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group and Deputy Chairman, BMO Nesbitt Burns. In 2006, BMO was recognized as a leader in supporting the arts in Canada with a Globe and Mail Business for the Arts Award which recognizes outstanding partnerships between business and the arts.

Downloadable images of the shortlisted books, together with jury citations for each book and additional information about the 2007 GGs are available on the Canada Council web site at

English-language finalists


David Chariandy, Vancouver, for Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Barbara Gowdy, Toronto, for Helpless (HarperCollins Publishers, an imprint of HarperCollins Canada)

Michael Ondaatje, Toronto, for Divisadero (McClelland & Stewart)

Heather O'Neill, Montreal, for Lullabies for Little Criminals (Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Canada)

M.G. Vassanji, Toronto, for The Assassin's Song (Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)


Margaret Atwood, Toronto, for The Door: Poems (McClelland & Stewart)

Don Domanski, Halifax, for All Our Wonder Unavenged (Brick Books)

Brian Henderson, Kitchener (ON), for Nerve Language (Pedlar Press)

Dennis Lee, Toronto, for Yesno: Poems (House of Anansi Press)

Rob Winger, Ottawa, for Muybridge's Horse: A Poem in Three Phases (Nightwood Editions)


Salvatore Antonio, Markham (ON), for In Gabriel's Kitchen (Playwrights Canada Press)

Anosh Irani, North Vancouver, for The Bombay Plays: The Matka King and Bombay Black (Playwrights Canada Press)

Rosa Laborde, Toronto, for Leo (Playwrights Canada Press)

Colleen Murphy, Toronto, for The December Man (L'homme de decembre) (Playwrights Canada Press)

Morris Panych, Vancouver, for What Lies Before Us (Talonbooks)


Rodrigo Bascunán and Christian Pearce, Toronto, for Enter the Babylon System: Unpacking Gun Culture from Samuel Colt to 50 Cent (Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

John English, Kitchener (ON), for Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919-1968 (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Stephanie Nolen, Johannesburg, South Africa (formerly of Montreal), for 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Karolyn Smardz Frost, Collingwood (ON), for I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad (Thomas Allen Publishers)

Bridget Stutchbury, Woodbridge (ON), for Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them (HarperCollins Publishers, an imprint of HarperCollins Canada)

Children's Literature - Text

Hugh Brewster, Toronto, for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose: The Story of a Painting (Kids Can Press)

Christopher Paul Curtis, Windsor (ON), for Elijah of Buxton (Scholastic Canada)

Iain Lawrence, Gabriola Island (BC), for Gemini Summer (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House)

John Wilson, Lantzville (BC), for The Alchemist's Dream (Key Porter Books)

Eva Wiseman, Winnipeg, for Kanada (Tundra Books)

Children's Literature - Illustration

Wallace Edwards, Yarker (ON), for The Painted Circus (Kids Can Press)

Joanne Fitzgerald, Orton (ON), for The Blue Hippopotamus (North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada)

Jirina Marton, Toronto, for Marja's Skis (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Dusan Petricic, Toronto, for My New Shirt (Tundra Books)

Duncan Weller, Thunder Bay (ON), for The Boy from the Sun (Simply Read Books)

Translation (from French to English)

Sheila Fischman, Montreal, for My Sister's Blue Eyes (Cormorant Books). English translation of Les Yeux bleus de Mistassini by Jacques Poulin

Robert Majzels, Calgary, and Erin Moure, Montreal, for Notebook of Roses and Civilization (Coach House Books). English translation of Cahier de roses & de civilisation by Nicole Brossard

Rhonda Mullins, Montreal, for The Decline of the Hollywood Empire (Talonbooks). English translation of Le declin de l'empire hollywoodien by Herve Fischer

John Murrell, Calgary, for Carole Frechette: Two Plays: John and Beatrice; Helen's Necklace (Playwrights Canada Press). English translation of Jean et Beatrice and Le collier d'Helene

Nigel Spencer, Sherbrooke (QC), for Augustino and the Choir of Destruction (House of Anansi Press). English translation of Augustino et le choeur de la destruction by Marie-Claire Blais

French-language finalists


Esther Croft, Quebec City, for Le reste du temps (XYZ editeur)

Robert Lalonde, Montreal, for Especes en voie de disparition (Les Editions du Boreal)

Anthony Phelps, Montreal, for La contrainte de l'inacheve (Lemeac Editeur)

Helene Rioux, Montreal, for Mercredi soir au Bout du monde (XYZ editeur)

Sylvain Trudel, Quebec City, for La mer de la tranquillite (Les Editions Les Allusifs)


Martine Audet, Montreal, for Les manivelles (Editions de l'Hexagone, a division of Ville-Marie Litterature)

Mario Brassard, Montreal, for La somme des vents contraires (Editions Les Herbes rouges)

Catherine Fortin, St-Jean-Port-Joli (QC), for Le silence est une voie navigable (Editions du Noroit)

Rino Morin Rossignol, Montreal, for Intifada du cour (Edition Perce-Neige)

Serge Patrice Thibodeau, Moncton, for Seul on est (Editions Perce-Neige)


Daniel Danis, St-David-de-Falardeau (QC), for Le chant du Dire-Dire (Lemeac Editeur; distributed by Prologue)

Sebastien Harrisson, Montreal, for Floes et D'Alaska (suite nordique) (Dramaturges Editeurs; distbributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Steve Laplante, Montreal, for Le Long de la Principale (Dramaturges Editeurs; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)

Suzanne Lebeau, Montreal, for Souliers de sable (Lemeac Editeur; distributed by Prologue)

Wajdi Mouawad, Montreal, with the collaboration of Benoit Vermeulen, for Assoiffes (Lemeac Editeur/Actes Sud; distributed by Prologue)


Roland Bourneuf, Cap-Rouge (QC), for Pierres de touche (Les Editions L'instant meme)

Michel Cormier, Beijing, People's Republic of China, (originally from New Brunswick), for La Russie des illusions: Regard d'un correspondent (Lemeac Editeur)

Denise Brassard, Montreal, for Le souffle du passage: Poesie et essai chez Fernand Ouellette (VLB editeur, a division of Ville-Marie Litterature)
Andre Cellard, Ripon (QC), and Marie-Claude Thifault, Rouyn-Noranda (QC), for Une toupie sur la tete: Visages de la folie a Saint-Jean-de-Dieu (Les Editions du Boreal)

Annette Hayward, Kingston, for La querelle du regionalisme au Quebec (1904-1931): Vers l'autonomisation de la litterature quebecoise (Editions du Nordir)

Children's Literature - Text

Francois Barcelo, St-Antoine-sur-Richelieu (QC), for La fatigante et le faineant (Soulieres editeur)

Sophie Gironnay, Montreal, for Philou, architecte et associes (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Andre Leblanc, Montreal, for L'envers de la chanson: Des enfants au travail 1850-1950 (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Sylvain Meunier, Longueuil (QC), for Piercings sanglants (Les editions de la courte echelle)

Helene Vachon, Quebec City, for Les saisons vues par Schouster (Editions FouLire)

Children's Literature - Illustration

Stephane-Yves Barroux, Paris, France (originally from Montreal), for Superbricoleur: Le roi de la clef a molette. (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Genevieve Cote, Montreal, for La petite rapporteuse de mots (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Manon Gauthier, Montreal, for Ma maman du photomaton (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Caroline Merola, Montreal, for Une nuit en ville (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Daniel Sylvestre, Montreal, for Ma vie de reptile (Les editions de la courte echelle)

Translation (from English to French)

Suzanne Anfossi, Montreal, for Trudeau: Citoyen du monde, tome 1: 1919-1968 (Les Editions de l'Homme, a division of Groupe Sogides, subsidiary of Groupe Livre Quebecor Media). French translation of Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919-1968, by John English

Marie Frankland, Montreal, for La chaise bercante (Editions du Noroit). French translation of The Rocking Chair by A.M. Klein (Ryerson Press)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagne, Montreal, for Dernieres notes (Les editions Les Allusifs). French translation of Last Notes and Other Stories by Tamas Dobozy

Claudine Vivier, Saint-Andre-Avellin (QC), for Pas l'ombre d'une trace (Editions Hurtubise HMH). French translation of Not a Trace by Norah McClintock

Sophie Voillot, Montreal, for La fin de l'alphabet (Editions Alto). French translation of The End of the Alphabet by C. S. Richardson

The juries

The finalists of the Governor General's Literary Awards are chosen by independent juries (seven English and seven French categories) appointed by the Canada Council. The juries, which meet separately, consider all eligible books published between September 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007 for English-language books and between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007 for French-language books. This year, a total of 1,417 titles, 836 in the English-language categories and 581 in the French-language categories, were submitted.

English-language juries

Fiction: Austin Clarke (Toronto), Eden Robinson (Haisla, BC), Rudy Wiebe (Edmonton)

Poetry: Lillian Allen (Toronto), Christian Bok (Calgary), Christopher Dewdney (Toronto)

Drama: Alanis King (Saskatoon), Daniel MacIvor (Halifax), Joan MacLeod (Victoria)

Non-fiction: Michael Bliss (Toronto), Afua Cooper (Toronto), Maggie Siggins (Regina)

Children's Literature - Text: Deirdre Kessler (Charlottetown), Pamela Porter (Sydney, BC), Simon Rose (Calgary)

Children's Literature - Illustration: Margaret Atwood (Toronto), Michael Martchenko (Toronto), Ludmila Zeman (Montreal)

Translation: Jo-Anne Elder (Fredericton), Louise Forsyth (Calgary), Hugh Hazelton (Montreal)

French-language juries

Fiction: Anne Dandurand (Montreal), Pierre Karch (Toronto), Monique Proulx (Montreal)

Poetry: Beddiari (Montreal), Tania Langlais (Montreal), Michel Therien (Ottawa)

Drama: Louise Bombardier (Montreal), Antonine Maillet (Bouctouche, NB), Francis Monty (Montreal)

Non-fiction: Georges Anglade (Montreal), Jean Morency (Moncton), Louise Prescott (Montreal)

Children's Literature - Text: Anne Legault (Verdun, QC), Daniel Marchildon (Penetang, ON), Jean Sioui (Wendake, QC)

Children's Literature - Illustration: Isabelle Beaudin (Ottawa), Leanne Franson (Montreal), Pierre Pratt (Montreal)

Translation: Yolande Amzallag (Hampstead, QC), Annie Brisset (Ottawa), Robert Paquin (Montreal)

Bookmark these dates!

Monday, October 22, 8 p.m. - Reading at the International Festival of Authors

- The English-language fiction finalists will read from their shortlisted books as part of the International Festival of Authors at the Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.

- For more information about the reading, contact Becky Toyne, IFOA publicist, at 416-973-5836 or

Thursday, November 15, 7 p.m. - Salon du livre de Montreal

- In honour of the Canada Council's 50th anniversary, as well as the 30th anniversary of the Salon du livre de Montreal, the Canada Council will hold a special reading featuring the GGLA French-language fiction finalists, hosted by BMO Financial Group. The reading will take place at Salon, in Place Bonaventure. It will be immediately followed by a reception at the Canada Council's booth.

Tuesday, November 27, 10 a.m. - Announcement of winners

- All winners, English- and French-language, will be announced at La Grande Bibliotheque de Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, 475 de Maisonneuve Blvd. E., Montreal

- The winners will speak at the news conference and will be available for in-person and telephone interviews immediately following the announcement.

- The list of winners, downloadable photographs and biographical information will be posted on the Canada Council's web site - - as of 11 a.m. EST on November 27.

Wednesday, December 12, 7 p.m. - Public reading by all Award winners

- Reading by the winners of the 2007 Awards in the Library and Archives Canada Auditorium (395 Wellington St., Ottawa).

- Copies of the winning books will be on sale, and the winners will be available to sign their books immediately following the reading.

- For information about the reading, contact Library and Archives Canada, 613-996-5115.

Thursday, December 13, 6 p.m. - Awards presentation at Rideau Hall

- Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2007 Literary Awards.

- The awards presentation will be followed by a reception, dinner and entertainment (by invitation only).

- Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Marie-Eve Letourneau at the Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-0287 or

Tous les documents du Conseil des Arts du Canada sont disponibles en français et en anglais.

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