MONTREAL - Some of the finest writing in Canada is being honoured today with the presentation of this year's Governor General's Literary Awards.
The awards, which bring with them a $25,000 cash prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, are being handed out in Montreal and acknowledge the best in categories including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama and translation.
Among the nominees this year are "Siege 13," a gripping collection of short stories by Waterloo, Ont.-based author Tamas Dobozy, which has already won the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust of Canada Prize for Fiction.
Other contenders include Toronto's Linda Spalding for "The Purchase." Spalding's book, published by McClelland & Stewart, was also nominated for the Writers' Trust prize.
Also up in the fiction category for the Governor-General's Award are former Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam for his Vietnam saga "The Headmaster's Wager"; fellow Torontonian Robert Hough for "Dr. Brinkley's Tower (House of Anansi Press); and Carrie Snyder of Waterloo, Ont., for "The Juliet Stories," also published by Anansi.
Finalists for the Governor General's non-fiction prize, also worth $25,000, include journalist Nahlah Ayed of Toronto for her memoir "A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring"' (Viking) and Toronto-based Noah Richler for "What We Talk About When We Talk About War" (Goose Lane Editions).
Also on that list is Ross King of Woodstock, U.K. (originally from North Portal, Sask.) for "Leonardo and the Last Supper" (Bond Street Books); Vancouver's Wade Davis for "Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest" (Alfred A. Knopf Canada); and Carol Bishop-Gwyn of Toronto for "The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca" (Cormorant Books).
About 1,600 books are submitted each year from English- and French-language publishers for consideration before judges narrow the list down to a handful of finalists in each category and language group.
The awards have been given out for the last 75 years.