Blog: Finalists for the 2012 Governor General's Literary Awards


The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the 68 finalists for the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Awards. The GGs, Canada’s national book awards, celebrate the excellence of Canadian writers, illustrators and translators. The award are given in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation, in both English and French.

Each finalist will receive $1000. The publisher will receive $3000 to support promotional activity. Each winner will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 13 in Montréal.

Finalists for the English language awards are listed below.


  • Book:Siege 13: Stories
  • Book:Dr. Brinkley's Tower
  • Book:The Headmaster's Wager
  • Book:The Juliet Stories
  • Book:The Purchase (Linda Spalding)


  • Book:Monkey Ranch: Poems
  • Book:Li'l Bastard (David McGimpsey)
  • Book:The New Measures: Poems
  • Book:Any Bright Horse
  • Book:Sailing to Babylon: Poems


  • Book:A Thousand Farewells
  • Book:The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca
  • Book:Into the Silence
  • Book:Leonardo and the Last Supper
  • Book:What We Talk About When We Talk About War

Children’s Literature — Text

  • Book:Seraphina (Rachel Hartman)
  • Book:Under the Moon
  • Book:The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
  • Book:The Umbrella (Judd Palmer)
  • Book:The Grave Robber's Apprentice

Children’s Literature — Illustration

  • Book:Virginia Wolf (Kyo Maclear)
  • Book:Big City Bees
  • Book:House Held Up by Trees
  • Book:In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up
  • Book:Picture a Tree


  • Catherine Banks for It is Solved by Walking
  • Trina Davies for The Romeo Initiative
  • Karen Hines for Drama: Pilot Episode
  • Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum for Calgary, Lost: A Memoir
  • Anusree Roy for Brothel #9

Translation — French to English

  • Sheila Fischman for English translation of Ru by Kim Thúy
  • Michael Gilson for English translation of Mafia Inc.: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada’s Sicilian Clan by André Cédilot and André Noël
  • John Murrell for English translation of The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs & Thinking of Yu by Carole Fréchette
  • Nigel Spencer for English translation of Mai at the Predators’ Ball by Marie-Claire Blais
  • Shelley Tepperman for English translation of The List by Jennifer Tremblay


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Book:A Thousand Farewells

A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey From Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring

Nahlah Ayed

Book:Into the Silence

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

Wade Davis