Governor General’s Literary Award winners named

On Nov. 15, the winners of the Governor General’s Literary Award were announced in Toronto. 2011 marks the 75th year of the prestigious awards. The prizes, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, honour English-language and French-language winners in seven categories.

Finalists in the fiction category included Vancouver based author Patrick deWitt for The Sisters Brothers, which was recently awarded the Roger Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize. Victoria native Esi Edugyan’s novel Half-Blood Blues was a nominee for the Governor General Award and the winner of the Giller Prize, which was announced last week. The fiction category also included Edmonton’s Marina Endicott for The Little Shadows, Toronto’s David Bezmozgis for Free World, and Kitchener’s own Alexi Zenter for his debut novel, Touch.

Ultimately, Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, was named by the panel of judges to be the recipient of 2011’s Governor General Literary Award, receiving $25,000 in addition to the prestigious title. deWitt’s winning novel The Sisters Brothers, tells the story of Eli and Charlie Sisters, guns-for-hire who are tracking a prospector through mid-19th century California.

The 36-year-old author was born on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

The award for the translation category was given to Donald Winkler for his Partita for Glenn Gould. For children’s illustration, Cybele Young was honoured for her Ten Birds, while Christopher Moore won in the children’s text category with From Then to Now: A Short History of the World.

Phil Hall’s collection Killdeer took home the English-language prize for poetry, while Charles Foran added yet another prize to his growing collection by winning the English-language non-fiction award for Mordecai: The Life & Times.

Lastly, the award in the drama category was awarded to Erin Shields for If We Were Birds.

The winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards are chosen by juries appointed by the Canada Council.

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