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Foran, deWitt add GGs to literary accolades

Two of the most high-profile winners of the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Awards have already won major literary prizes this season.

Charles Foran won the non-fiction prize for Mordecai: The Life & Times (Knopf Canada), which last month won the inaugural Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for non-fiction and, earlier this year, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. In total, Foran has earned $130,000 in prize winnings for his biography of the late Montreal author (and two-time GG winner for fiction). Foran is also in the running for the $40,000 B.C. National Award for Non-fiction, which will be handed out in 2012.

This year’s fiction winner is Patrick deWitt, whose comic Western, The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press), also won the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction.

In children’s literature, veteran author Christopher Moore won the text category for his non-fiction book From Then to Now: A Short History of the World (Tundra Books), and the prize for illustration went to Cybèle Young for her picture book Ten Birds (Kids Can Press).

Despite the mild controversy surrounding this year’s poetry shortlist, the prize went to Phil Hall’s Killdeer, one of three titles from alternative Toronto publisher BookThug. The drama prize went to Erin Shields for If We Were Birds (Playwrights Canada Press).

The French-to-English translation prize went to Donald Winkler for Partita for Glenn Gould (McGill-Queen’s University Press), by historian Georges Leroux, who won this year’s French-language non-fiction prize.

Each winner received $25,000 from the Canada Council of the Arts. Now in their 75th year, the awards were announced Tuesday morning in Toronto.

Keep watching Q&Q for more coverage.