Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009 Governor General's Literary Awards - English

The 2009 Governor General's Literary Awards have been selected.

Here are the English language winners (with descriptions from the GG website):

Fiction: The Mistress of Nothing, by Kate Pullinger

In The Mistress of Nothing, Kate Pullinger creates the fascinating character of Sally, maid to Lady Duff Gordon in Victorian times. Over the course of a memorable journey down the Nile with her Lady, Sally comes to realizations about the nature of power – its seductiveness, its elusiveness and its ability to alter the soul in manifold ways.

Poetry: The Fly in Autumn, by David Zieroth

In The Fly in Autumn, David Zieroth addresses our common and defining human fate – the loneliness that is a rehearsal for death – with a tenderness and buoyancy that shows the reader “how to walk in the dark with flowers.” The intricacy and exuberance of rhyme and the breadth of vision are stunning.

Non-Fiction: A Place Within: rediscovering India, by M.G. Vassanji

An utterly brilliant, evocative memoir that ranges across the landscapes of culture, memory, identity and history. M.G. Vassanji’s style – diverse and playful – brings the reader along effortlessly, illuminating the ramshackle roots of self, family, and culture.An outstanding book of self-reflection and persistent insight, A Place Within is the resonant chronicle of a sage, a traveler,
a pilgrim.

Drama: Where the Blood Mixes, by Kevin Loring

An abducted daughter returns to her wounded community after many years away. Kevin Loring illuminates the complex aftermath of the residential school system and the circumstances of contemporary Aboriginal history through compelling,sympathetic and humorous characters who live as best they can, with courage and strength.

Translation: Pieces of Me, by Susan Ouriou
( English translation of La liberté? Connais pas… by Charlotte Gingras.)

With Pieces of Me, Susan Ouriou has created a magical rendering of the exquisite original. Tenderly redrawing the portrait of a troubled teenage girl struggling to come into her own, Ouriou has sensitively captured all that is moving, poetic and funny about the novel’s main character in a truly accomplished translation.

Children's Literature - Text: Greener Grass: the famine years, by Caroline Pignat

Caroline Pignat’s Greener Grass: The Famine Years follows the disintegration of the Byrne family during Ireland’s Great Famine of 1847, when landlords ruled without mercy, children could be taken away to prison, and thousands were left to starve. A timeless story of courage, family loyalty and the resilience of the human spirit.

Children's Literature - Illustration: Bella's Tree, by Jirina Marton (text by Janet Russell).

Jirina Marton’s illustrations invite the reader to a winter landscape full of textures and subtle, earthy colour palettes. The Van Gogh-like interior and its warm tones create a holiday season mood that evokes an emotional response. The illustrations are well crafted and capture the imagination and humanity of the everyday lives they portray.

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