The Governor General Literary Awards are here!

I know, I know. They were announced yesterday but my mother is visiting and I am distracted and tired and posts unfortunately do not write themselves just because you want them to (sadly).

But the GGs are here! I love the GGs. I know. Everyone is about the Giller prize. But back when I first started book blogging in 2005 I was living in Toronto, a bit of a Mecca for Canadian literature. And I decided that year that I was going to read all the books nominated for the fiction category. I did! It only took me until March of the following year but I did it. I haven't done it since and I probably won't this year.

I think one of the things I find fascinating is how both the Giller and the Governor General's Literary Awards both look for the best fiction and often have completely different lists. Ditto the GGs non-fiction picks and the Charles Taylor Award picks.

You can go look at the full list of the GG nominees (and their descriptions are here) but here's the categories that interest me the most.

English Fiction:

  • Michael Crummey, Galore. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

  • Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean. (Random House Canada; distributed by the publisher)

  • Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness. (McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Random House of Canada)

  • Kate Pullinger, The Mistress of Nothing. (McArthur & Company; distributed by the publisher)

  • Deborah Willis, Vanishing and Other Stories. (Penguin Group (Canada); distributed by the publisher)


English Non-Fiction:

  • Randall Hansen, Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-45. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)

  • Trevor Herriot, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds. (Phyllis Bruce Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

  • Eric S. Margolis, American Raj: Liberation or Domination? (Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World). (Key Porter Books; distributed by H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd)

  • Eric Siblin, The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece. (House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)

  • M.G. Vassanji, A Place Within: Rediscovering India. (Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)


Children's Literature - Text

  • Shelley Hrdlitschka, Sister Wife. (Orca Book Publishers; distributed by the publisher)

  • Sharon Jennings, Home Free. (Second Story Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)

  • Caroline Pignat, Greener Grass: The Famine Years. (Red Deer Press, a division of Fitzhenry & Whiteside; distributed by the publisher)

  • Robin Stevenson, A Thousand Shades of Blue. (Orca Book Publishers; distributed by the publisher)

  • Tim Wynne-Jones, The Uninvited. (Candlewick Press; distributed by Random House of Canada)


Munro making the list is no surprise. She didn't withdraw herself from this, only the Giller. And it's not unusual for a short story collection to be on the list.

Only one book about WWII on the non-fiction list and none about WWI. Surprising. Also, grassland birds? Interesting. (As in interesting that a book about grassland birds made the list, not interesting in that I want to read it.)

In the children's list, Sister Wife? Really. I haven't read it but I've heard of it and I'm vaguely surprised.

Edit: Forgot to mention - Vassanji writing non-fiction? Interesting.

Any thoughts on the GG's?