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Edugyan, deWitt complete awards trifecta with GG nods

Two Canadian novelists few people had heard of before this summer continue rack up acclaim from international prize juries.

Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt “ authors of the novels Half-Blood Blues and The Sisters Brothers, respectively “ have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction, completing a double trifecta that includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Both B.C.-born authors are also finalists for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

The shortlist is rounded by another Giller finalist, David Bezmozgis’s The Free World, as well as a first novel, Alexi Zentner’s Touch, and Marina Endicott’s The Little Shadows.

One of the season’s most highly touted novels, Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table (McClelland & Stewart), was not submitted for consideration for the prize. Ondaatje, who is shortlisted for the $50,000 Giller, has won the GG for fiction three times before: in 1992 for The English Patient, in 2000 for Anil’s Ghost, and in 2007 for Divisadero.

Also notable are the poetry finalists, three of whom are published by Toronto micro-press BookThug.

The complete shortlists, which include drama, non-fiction, children’s books, and translation, are as follows:


  • David Bezmozgis, The Free World (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press)
  • Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen Publishers)
  • Marina Endicott, The Little Shadows (Doubleday Canada)
  • Alexi Zentner, Touch (Knopf Canada)


  • Michael Boughn, Cosmographia: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro-Epic (BookThug)
  • Kate Eichhorn, Fieldnotes, A Forensic (BookThug)
  • Phil Hall, Killdeer (BookThug)
  • Garry Thomas Morse, Discovery Passages (Talonbooks)
  • Susan Musgrave, Origami Dove (McClelland & Stewart)


  • Brendan Gall, Minor Complications: Two Plays (Coach House Books)
  • Jonathan Garfinkel, House of Many Tongues (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Erin Shields, If We Were Birds (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Gas Girls (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Vern Thiessen, Lenin’s Embalmers (Playwrights Canada Press)


  • Charles Foran, Mordecai: The Life & Times (Knopf Canada)
  • Nathan M. Greenfield, The Damned: The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45 (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Richard Gwyn, Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, Volume Two: 1867-1891 (Random House Canada)
  • J.J. Lee, The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Andrew Nikiforuk, Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books)

Children’s Literature: Text

  • Jan L. Coates, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press)
  • Deborah Ellis, No Ordinary Day (Groundwood Books)
  • Christopher Moore, From Then to Now: A Short History of the World (Tundra Books)
  • Kenneth Oppel, This Dark Endeavour (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Tim Wynne-Jones, Blink & Caution (Candlewick Press)

Children’s Literature: Illustration

  • Isabelle Arsenault, Migrant; text by Maxine Trottier (Groundwood Books)
  • Kim La Fave, Fishing with Gubby; text by Gary Kent (Harbour Publishing)
  • Renata Liwska, Red Wagon; text by Renata Liwska (Philomel Books/Penguin)
  • Frank Viva, Along a Long Road; text by Frank Viva (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Cybèle Young, Ten Birds; text by Cybèle Young (Kids Can Press)

Translation: French to English

  • Judith Cowan, Meridian Line (Signal Editions); English translation of Origine des méridiens by Paul Bélanger (Éditions du Noroît)
  • David Scott Hamilton, Exit (Anvil Press); English translation of Paradis, clef en main by Nelly Arcan (Les Éditions Les 400 coups)
  • Lazer Lederhendler, Apocalypse for Beginners (Vintage Canada); English translation of Tarmac by Nicolas Dickner (Éditions Alto)
  • Lazer Lederhendler, Dirty Feet (House of Anansi Press); English translation of Les pieds sales by Edem Awumey (Les Éditions du Boréal)
  • Donald Winkler, Partita for Glenn Gould (McGill-Queen’s University Press); English translation of Partita pour Glenn Gould by Georges Leroux (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)