Another delegation heard from

October 14, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

We’re drowning in literary awards here in the Great White North. First the Scotiabank Giller, then the Rogers Writers’ Trust, now the Governor General’s Literary Awards, which announced their shortlists today in Toronto. Only one book made it onto all three lists: Annabel Lyon’s first novel The Golden Mean. The moral here? You can write as many solid, urban stories as you want: it’s when you write that piece of historical fiction that the prizes will come a-callin’. And how fucking depressing is that?

Here are the fiction, non-fiction, and poetry lists in full:

FICTION:

  • Michael Crummey, Galore (Doubleday Canada)
  • Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean (Random House Canada)
  • Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Kate Pullinger, Mistress of Nothing (McArthur & Company)
  • Deborah Willis, Vanishing and Other Stories (Penguin Canada)

NON-FICTION:

  • Randall Hansen, Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945 (Doubleday Canada)
  • Trevor Herriot, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Eric Margolis, American Raj: Liberation or Domination? (Key Porter Books)
  • Eric Siblin, The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece (House of Anansi Press)
  • M.G. Vassanji, A Place Within: Rediscovering India (Doubleday Canada)

POETRY:

  • David W. McFadden, Be Calm, Honey (Mansfield Press)
  • Philip Kevin Paul, Little Hunger (Nightwood Editions)
  • Sina Queyras, Expressway (Coach House Books)
  • Carmine Starnino, This Way Out (Gaspereau Press)
  • David Zieroth, The Fly in Autumn (Harbour Publishing)

The seasoned observer will note that the GG fiction list is, like the Giller and Writers’ Trust shortlists, an Atwood-free zone, leaving The Year of the Flood shut out of this fall’s major awards, both here and across the pond (Atwood, a former Booker winner, was absent from that list as well).

A big shout-out goes to TSR faves Sina Queyras and Carmine Starnino, both of whom nabbed nominations in the poetry category. The GGs will be handed out at a ceremony winners will be announced in Montreal on November 17.