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Francesca Ekwuyasi, Canisia Lubrin, and Amanda Leduc among finalists for Governor General’s Literary Awards

Seven months after their traditional October announcement, the 70 finalists for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced on May 4. Each finalist will receive $1,000 with winners receiving $25,000, with an additional $3,000 given to publishers to assist in marketing the title. Winners will be announced on June 1 at ggbooks.ca.

Though the 2020 finalist announcement was delayed because of the pandemic, readers won’t have to wait quite so long before the 2021 finalist announcement: they will be announced this fall.


Butter Honey Pig Bread, Francesca Ekwuyasi (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Five Little Indians, Michelle Good (Harper Perennial/HarperCollins Canada)

Indians on Vacation, Thomas King (HarperCollins Canada)

Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (House of Anansi Press)

The Baudelaire Fractal, Lisa Robertson (Coach House Books)


Eight Track, Oana Avasilichioaei (Talonbooks)

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, Anne Carson (New Directions Publishing)

Orrery, Donna Kane (Harbour Publishing)

Render, Sachiko Murakami (Arsenal Pulp Press)

The Dyzgraphxst, Canisia Lubrin (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada)


bug, Yolanda Bonnell (Scirocco Drama/J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing)

Guarded Girls, Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman (Playwrights Canada Press)

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story, Kim Senklip Harvey (Talonbooks)

Quick Bright Things, Christopher Cook (Playwrights Canada Press)

Sound of the Beast, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (Playwrights Canada Press)


A History of My Brief Body, Billy-Ray Belcourt (Hamish Hamilton/PRHC)

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space, Amanda Leduc (Coach House Books)

Rebent Sinner, Ivan Coyote (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging, Tessa McWatt (Random House Canada/PRHC)

This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart: A Memoir in Halves, Madhur Anand (Strange Light/PRHC)

Young People’s Literature – Text

Harvey Holds His Own, Colleen Nelson (Pajama Press)

Nevers, Sara Cassidy (Orca Book Publishers)

Pine Island Home, Polly Horvath (Puffin Canada/Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers)

The Barren Grounds, David A. Robertson (Puffin Canada/PRHC Young Readers)

The King of Jam Sandwiches, Eric Walters (Orca Book Publishers)

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

I Talk Like a River, Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House)

Our Little Kitchen, Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Swift Fox All Along, Rebecca Thomas and Maya McKibbin (Annick Press)

The Barnabus Project, The Fan Brothers (Tundra Books/PRHC Young Readers)

Weekend Dad, Naseem Hrab and Frank Viva (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)

Translation (from French to English)

Amaryllis & Little Witch, translated by Alexis Diamond (Playwrights Canada Press)
Translation of Vipérine et Petite sorcière, Pascal Brullemans

Back Roads, translated by J.C. Sutcliffe (Arachnide/House of Anansi Press)
Translation of Routes secondaires, Andrée A. Michaud

If You Hear Me, translated by Lazer Lederhendler (Biblioasis)
Translation of Si tu m’entends, Pascale Quiviger

The Country Will Bring Us No Peace, translated by Pablo Strauss (Coach House Books)
Translation of Ici, ailleurs, Matthieu Simard

The Neptune Room, translated by Oana Avasilichioaei (Book*hug Press)
Translation of La chambre Neptune, Bertrand Laverdure

The seven French-language finalists are listed on ggbooks.ca