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Eleanor Catton wins Governor General’s Literary Award

Eleanor Catton (photo: Robert Catto)

Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for her second novel, The Luminaries (McClelland & Stewart). The awards were announced this morning at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto.

In her speech, Catton, who was born in London, Ontario, and raised in New Zealand, discussed the book’s many influences, from 19th-century European literature to Canadian and U.S. fiction. She referred to the traditions of immigrant and emigrant fiction, and says calling her book a “New Zealand novel feels as uncomfortable to me as calling it women’s fiction.”

Non-fiction winner Sandra Djwa thanked the Canada Council for the Arts, explaining that her book, Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page (McGill-Queen’s University Press) might never have been published had it not been for block grants to independent publishers. Djwa, whose previous books were published by McClelland & Stewart, says her biography of poet P.K. Page was turned down by multinational publishing houses.

Nominee Teresa Toten won her first GG for the YA novel, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Doubleday Canada). Coach House Books also won its first GG for Nicolas Billon’s collection of three plays, Fault Lines.

This year, 1,600 submissions were reviewed by peer juries in seven French- and English-language categories. Each winner receives $25,000, which will be presented Nov. 28 at a ceremony in Ottawa.

The English-language winners are as follows:

Fiction: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (McClelland & Stewart)

Poetry: Katherena Vermette, North End Love Songs (The Muses’ Company)

Drama: Nicolas Billon, Fault Lines (Coach House Books)

Non-fiction: Sandra Djwa, Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Children’s Literature, Text: Teresa Toten, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Doubleday Canada)

Children’s Literature, Illustration: Matt James, Northwest Passage; text by Stan Rogers (Groundwood Books)

Translation, French to English: Donald Winkler, The Major Verbs (Signal Editions); English translation of Les verbes majeurs by Pierre Nepveu


November 13th, 2013

12:38 pm

Category: Awards

Tagged with: Awards, Governor General's Literary Award