Winners of the 75th annual Governor General’s Literary Awards Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (November 15, 2011) – Get ready to read the 2011 GG winners! The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the 14 winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $25,000 each. “The 2011 GG-winning books reflect the diversity and depth of contemporary Canadian literature,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “With the hundreds of other great books that have won Canada’s national literary award over the past 75 years, they represent pure gold for Canadian creative excellence.” The names of the winners and titles of their works, in the children’s categories, are listed below, together with peer assessment committee members’ comments for each work. Biographical information and downloadable photos of the winners and book covers are posted on the Canada Council’s website.

The Canada Council funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards, Canada’s oldest and most prestigious awards for English- and French-language Canadian literature. In addition to the monetary award, each winner will receive a specially-bound copy of the winning book, created by Montreal bookbinder Lise Dubois. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non‑winning finalists receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the awards to approximately $450,000.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Awards on Thursday, November 24 at 6 p.m. at Rideau Hall. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Christelle Legault at the Rideau Hall Press Office, (613) 998-7280.

Children’s Literature — Text

From Then to NowFrom Then to Now: A Short History of the World
Written by Christopher Moore (Toronto)
Illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski
Tundra Books; distributed by Random House of Canada
ISBN 978-0-88776-540-7
From Then to Now: A Short History of the World, by Christopher Moore, is a fascinating examination of the evolution of human civilization that is global in its span and inclusive in its outlook. The energetic narrative tells a story that rivals the very best fiction.

JURY: Maureen Hull (Pictou Island, N.S.), Richard Scarsbrook (Toronto), Darcy Tamayose (Lethbridge, Alta.)

Les aventures de Radisson Les aventures de Radisson -1. L’enfer ne brûle pas
Written by Martin Fournier (Quebec)
Les éditions du Septentrion; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia
ISBN 978-2-89448-647-4
With Les aventures de Radisson, Martin Fournier skilfully measures the suspense of his tale, and more than succeeds in transcending the dryness of a historical character. He depicts the adventures of Radisson, the rebellious adolescent who will pay for his boldness. An almost ethnological initiation into the Iroquois culture of the time – the French language at its best.

JURY:Bertrand Laverdure (St-Liguori, Que.), Diane Carmel Léger (Moncton), Hada López (Québec)

Children’s Literature — Illustration

Ten BirdsTen Birds
Illustrated and written by Cybèle Young
Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press
ISBN 978-1-55453-568-2
Ten Birds is a whimsical, surreal visual riddle. A disarmingly simple story becomes a complex discussion of the adjectives used to “pigeon-hole” individuals in society. Cybèle Young’s beautifully crafted pen and ink images describe a journey to simply cross a river. Ironically none of the birds can fly, but ultimately the simplest answer may be the best.

JURY: Murray Kimber (Nelson, BC), Susan Tooke (Halifax), Ange Zhang (Toronto)

Lili et les poilus Lili et les poilus
Illustrated and written by Caroline Merola (Montreal)
Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by Messageries ADP, Groupe Sogides
ISBN 978-2-89512-904-2
By playing with a familiar theme, Caroline Merola succeeds in drawing us into her universe filled with astonishing contrasts. She stages simply-drawn characters in a lush, generous forest. Lili et les poilus is a work full of dynamic compositions, with profound and luminous colours that are applied with unbridled energy.

JURY: Naomi Mitcham (Whitehorse), Janice Nadeau (Montreal), Pierre Pratt (Lisbon, Portugal)

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Media contact:

Mireille Allaire
Public Relations Officer
1-800-263-5588 or
613-566-4414, ext. 4523
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Heather McAfee
Public Relations Officer
1-800-263-5588 or
613-566-4414, ext. 4166
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Interviews with winners:

Diane Hargrave

In Montreal:
Christopher DiRaddo
Cell: 514-806-5087

Mireille Bertrand
Office: 418-829-0543
Cell: 514-652-6085

Virginie Perron
Office: 450-592-7158