Your cart is currently empty!
Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of the Governor General’s Book Awards! Browse the LPG member finalists in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and translation, below.
Showing all 12 results
2023 Governor General’s Award for Poetry Finalist
“God is personal,” the astrologer said. Terrifying and also personal, like a baby.
Direct and humorous, Baby Book stacks story upon story to explore how beliefs are first formed. From a family vacation on a discount bus tour to a cosmogony based on cheese, these poems accumulate around principles of contingency and revelation. Amy Ching-Yan Lam describes the vivid tactility of growth and death — how everything is constantly, painfully remade — offering a vision against the stuck narratives of property and inheritance. Power is located in the senses, in wind: multiple and restless.
Mitsue Sakamoto and Ralph MacLean both suffered tremendous loss during WWII: Mitsue as a survivor of a Japanese Canadian internment camp, and Ralph as a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp. In order to rebuild their lives and their families after the war, Ralph and Mitsue must find the grace and generosity necessary to forgive those who have wronged them. Their paths eventually cross in 1968 when Mitsue’s son and Ralph’s daughter begin dating, and Ralph is invited to Mitsue’s home for dinner.
This soaring adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s award-winning memoir affirms the power of forgiveness and shows us that in our challenging times characterized by political divisiveness, xenophobia, and race hatred, the story of Mitsue and Ralph’s personal triumphs over hatred, injustice, violence, and bigotry remains vitally relevant and urgently necessary.
2023 Governor General’s Literary Award for Literary Translation Finalist * 2023 VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award Winner * 2023 Winner John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation
A meditation on the wiles of depression, illuminated by queer and diasporic experience.
“We, nosotros, nosotras: somos sobrevivientes.” Weaving prose poetry, essay, autobiography and photography in mutual contamination, Nicholas Dawson relates his own deep depression, a state never fully gone, always cohabitant. Amidst this persistence, “the body and the pen bring a plural syntax of alternative knowledges into being, one which allows us to know the world better, to know ourselves better, to better love daybreak and this sun obstinately piercing the curtain with its brazen rays.”
House Within a House, in a luminous translation by D.M. Bradford, tells the story of what walls the depressed person in, what keeps them wandering inside, and what finally gets them, somehow, out of the house. The original book, Désormais, ma demeure, received the 2021 Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.
In another life I was a small bubble of foam on a wave coming to shore, and the wave broke, and I burst, and that was it. Before that I was a small stream, for centuries. And in another life I was a mortal girl. Which is this life. After thousands of years, I have a mouth. So if you don’t mind, Mom, Dad, I’m going to speak. I’m going to shout. When I become a human I’m going to use some words. Can you still hear me? Is my microphone on?
Young people have inherited a burning world. In this urgent and lyrical play, they reckon with the generations who have come before them, questioning the choices that have been made, and the ones that they will yet be forced to make. Is My Microphone On? is a play in the form of a protest song, in which a chorus of young performers hold the audience to account, and invite them to experience the world together anew.
In Anishnaabemowin, Okinum means dam. In deciphering a recurring dream about beavers, Émilie Monnet discovers how to break down interior barriers, to trust in the power of intuition, and to deconstruct cultural walls. A circular and immersive experience that interweaves three languages — English, French and Anishnaabemowin — Okinum is an ode to reclaiming language and reconnecting to one’s ancestors.
Métis Ukrainian writer Conor Kerr’s sharp and incisive poems move restlessly across landscapes and time.
Conor Kerr’s poetry is in constant motion. 4Runners streak through the night, racing with coyotes and roving across the land. Buses travel from town to town, from one memory to another, from past to present. Friends and lovers search for each other on Instagram and find nothing. And always the natural world travels alongside: the watching magpies, woodpeckers and cedar waxwings, the coyotes and porcupines. Family is the crisp wings of mallard ducks flying at dawn, just as it is a game of crib, a Mario Kart race, a dance party.
Old Gods defies colonialism on the Prairies. Kerr situates his reader in the Métis mindset: the old gods of the land are alive within the rivers, the birds, the hills and the prairies that surround us, and they’ll always be here.
Rosa Ost grows up in Notre-Dame-du-Cachalot, a tiny village at the end of the world, where two industries are king: paper and Boredom. The only daughter of Terese Ost (a fair-to-middling trade unionist and a first-rate Scrabble player), the fate that befalls Rosa is the focus of this tale of long journeys and longer lives, of impossible deaths, unwavering prophecies, and unsettling dreams as she leaves her village for Montreal on a quest to summon the westerly wind that has proved so vital to the local economy.
From village gossips, tealeaf-reading exotic dancers, and Acadian red herrings to soothsaying winkles and centuries-old curses, Rosa’s Very Own Personal Revolution is a delightful, boundary-pushing story about stories and the storytellers who make them – and a reminder that revolutions in Quebec aren’t always quiet.
WINNER OF THE 2022 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE 2023 GEORGES BUGNET AWARD FOR FICTION
FINALIST FOR THE 2023 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S AWARD FOR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FICTION
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY TOP 20 LITERARY FICTION BOOKS OF 2022
OPRAH DAILY: BOOKS TO READ BY THE FIRE
THE GLOBE 100: THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022
CBC BOOKS: THE BEST CANADIAN FICTION OF 2022
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CAROL SHIELDS PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE CITY OF CALGARY W.O. MITCHELL BOOK PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE
When a mudslide strands a train, Baxter, a queer Black sleeping car porter, must contend with the perils of white passengers, ghosts, and his secret love affair
The Sleeping Car Porter brings to life an important part of Black history in North America, from the perspective of a queer man living in a culture that renders him invisible in two ways. Affecting, imaginative, and visceral enough that you’ll feel the rocking of the train, The Sleeping Car Porter is a stunning accomplishment.
Baxter’s name isn’t George. But it’s 1929, and Baxter is lucky enough, as a Black man, to have a job as a sleeping car porter on a train that crisscrosses the country. So when the passengers call him George, he has to just smile and nod and act invisible. What he really wants is to go to dentistry school, but he’ll have to save up a lot of nickel and dime tips to get there, so he puts up with “George.”
On this particular trip out west, the passengers are more unruly than usual, especially when the train is stalled for two extra days; their secrets start to leak out and blur with the sleep-deprivation hallucinations Baxter is having. When he finds a naughty postcard of two queer men, Baxter’s memories and longings are reawakened; keeping it puts his job in peril, but he can’t part with the postcard or his thoughts of Edwin Drew, Porter Instructor.
“Suzette Mayr brings to life –believably, achingly, thrillingly –a whole world contained in a passenger train moving across the Canadian vastness, nearly one hundred years ago. As only occurs in the finest historical novels, every page in The Sleeping Car Porter feels alive and immediate –and eerily contemporary. The sleeping car porter in this sleek, stylish novel is named R.T. Baxter –called George by the people upon whom he waits, as is every other Black porter. Baxter’s dream of one day going to school to learn dentistry coexists with his secret life as a gay man, and in Mayr’s triumphant novel we follow him not only from Montreal to Calgary, but into and out of the lives of an indelibly etched cast of supporting characters, and, finally, into a beautifully rendered radiance.” – 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury
The War Being Waged is a poetic and unflinchingly truthful examination of what happens when patriotism and sovereignty collide. An Indigenous mother becomes an activist while her brother becomes a soldier. An grandmother speaks to her granddaughter from prison. A granddaughter, filled with turmoil, struggles to accept her family’s history. Three generations of Indigenous women try to connect the pieces of their lives after experiencing all the ways Canada has torn them apart. A mix of three performance genres–monologue, poetry with video and movement, and contemporary dance–are woven together in this stunning work by Winnipeg theatre artist Darla Contois.
The title of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It holds a double meaning that teasingly suggests the play can please all tastes. But is that possible? With his subversive updating of the Bard’s classic, Indigenous creator and cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal seeks to find out. The show exults in bawdy humour, difficult subject matter, and raw emotion; Cardinal is not one to hold back when it comes to challenging delicate sensibilities.