Winners of 2009 Governor General’s Literary Awards Announced: Children’s Lit, YA Rules!

Montreal, November 17, 2009 – The names of winners of the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced today by the Canada Council for the Arts. The seven English and seven French awards are given to authors, illustrators and translators and in the categories of fiction, poetry, drama, non‑fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation.

For the first time in the history of the Awards one book wins in both categories of children’s literature (text and illustration): Harvey by author Hervé Bouchard and illustrator Janice Nadeau, a three-time Award-winner. Children’s literature was also the focus in the English-language translation category, with Susan Ouriou winning for her translation of a young adult novel, Pieces of Me, a translation of La liberté? Connais pas. by Charlotte Gingras. Paule Noyart, winner in French-language translation, takes home her second Award this year for her translation of Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly. M.G. Vassanji, a past finalist in fiction, wins this year in the non-fiction category for his account of his travel in India. This year, 12 of the 14 winners receive this award for the very first time.

Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2009 Literary Awards on Thursday, November 26 at 6 p.m., at Rideau Hall. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Julie Rocheleau at the Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-7280 or

The Governor General and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond are pleased to invite the public to an Art Matters forum, on the eve of this year’s award ceremony, on the following theme: How is your writing Canadian? “Inspired by tomorrow’s presentation of the Governor General’s Literary Awards honouring Canadian literature, and thanks to the many Canadian and international awards presented to our authors, we began thinking about just what it is that makes our literature `Canadian.’ How do authors, illustrators, their imaginations, the work of those who craft books, and the passion of readers express who we are and convey our identity?” asked Her Excellency.

This Art Matters forum will take place on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 7 p.m., at Rideau Hall. Two panellists will open the discussion: Serge Bouchard, anthropologist and author as well as Noah Richler, journalist and author. Seating is limited. To reserve their seat, members of the public must register via e-mail to before Friday, November 20, 2009.

The Canada Council funds, administers and promotes the awards the Governor General’s Literary Awards, Canada’s oldest and most prestigious awards for English- and French-language Canadian literature. The value of each award is $25,000 and each will also receive a specially-bound copy of the winning book created by Montreal bookbinder Lise Dubois. The publisher of each winning book will receive $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non‑winning finalists will each receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the awards to approximately $450,000.

Read the complete list of winners on the Canada Council’s website:


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