Ottawa Citizen

Hage, Toews among 70 finalists for Governor General’s Awards

Books vie for prizes


The list for the 2018 Governor General’s Awards announced Wednesday includes 70 books named as finalists for the Literary Awards, representi­ng a cross section of writers, illustrato­rs and translator­s in both English and French from across Canada.

Among authors named in the fiction category are Montreal’s Rawi Hage and Paige Cooper, Calgary’s Joshua Whitehead and Steinbach, Man.-born, Toronto-based author Miriam Toews.

Founded in 1936, the literary awards are one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigiou­s prizes for literature, with a total annual prize value of $450,000 spread among the winners and finalists.

The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administer­ed and promoted the awards since 1959.

Peer-review panels of judges, seven in English and seven in French, choose finalists in their respective categories from books published between Sept. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018 in English or between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 in French.

Winners in each category will receive $25,000.

The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 for promotiona­l activities and each non-winning finalist will receive $1,000.

Over the past 82 years, the awards have celebrated more than 700 works by more than 500 authors, poets, playwright­s, translator­s and illustrato­rs. This year’s 70 finalists were chosen from nearly 1,400 titles submitted for considerat­ion.

Among English-language finalists, the five in the fiction category are Hage for Beirut Hellfire Society; Whitehead for Jonny Appleseed; Sarah Henstra (Toronto) for The Red Word; Toews for Women Talking; and Cooper for Zolitude.

Poetry finalists include Dionne Brand (Toronto) for The Blue Clerk and Billy-Ray Belcourt (Edmonton) for The Wound is a World. Drama finalists include Erin Shields (Montreal) for Paradise Lost and Anosh Irani (North Vancouver, B.C.) for The Men in White.

The 14 winning books will be announced on Oct. 30 and Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will present the awards at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Nov. 28.

For a complete list of 2018 finalists, visit

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Rawi Hage

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