The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English- and French-language books in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature and Translation.
This event celebrates the authors shortlisted for the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for English-Language Fiction.
Finalists include Kenneth Bonert, Joseph Boyden, Eleanor Catton, Colin McAdam and Shyam Selvadurai.
Hosted by novelist Elizabeth Hay.
Kenneth Bonert, born in South Africa, now calls Toronto home. His short story "Packers and Movers" was shortlisted for the Journey Prize, and "Peacekeepers, 1995" appeared in McSweeney's 25. Bonert presents The Lion Seeker, which has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction. It is a profoundly moral exploration of how wider social forces shape and shatter us, as young Isaac Helger attempts to break out of inner city Johannesburg, South Africa during the Great Depression.
Joseph Boyden’s debut, Three Day Road, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel, Through Black Spruce, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was named the Fiction Book of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association and earned him the CBA’s Author of the Year Award. Boyden presents his latest novel, The Orenda, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction and named the winner of 2014 Canada Reads. It is a nearly 400-year-old tale about the kidnapping of a young Iroquois girl, her Huron Nation captor and a Jesuit missionary.
Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in London, Ontario and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Betty Trask Prize and the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction. In 2010, she was awarded the New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award. Catton presents her second novel, The Luminaries, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English Fiction. Set in 1866 during New Zealand’s gold rush, this richly imagined story weaves together the fates and fortunes of an entire community, where everyone has something to hide.
Elizabeth Hay is the author of the #1 nationally bestselling novel Alone in the Classroom, the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Late Nights on Air, as well as other highly acclaimed works of fiction, including His Whole Life, A Student of Weather, Garbo Laughs, and Small Change. Formerly a radio broadcaster, she spent a number of years in Mexico and New York City before returning to Canada. She lives in Ottawa.
Colin McAdam’s debut novel, Some Great Thing, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award and was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for English-language Fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. His second novel, Fall, won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. McAdam presents A Beautiful Truth, which has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Told alternatively from the perspective of humans and chimpanzees, it is about the realities of nature, as a man brings a baby chimpanzee into his childless marriage.
Shyam Selvadurai was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada at the age of 19. His bestselling debut novel, Funny Boy, was published to immediate acclaim and won the W.H. Smith/Nooks in Canada First Novel Award, The Lambda Literary Award, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Cinnamon Gardens, his second novel, was shortlisted for the Trillium Award. Selvadurai presents his first novel in over a decade, The Hungry Ghosts, which has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction. It is a story of family, wealth and the long reach of the past, showing how racial, political and sexual differences can tear apart both a country and the human heart.