2019 GG literary winners announced; Joan Thomas takes fiction prize

Winnipeg's Joan Thomas has won the Governor General's Literary Award for English fiction for her novel Five Wives.

The novel Five Wives by Joan Thomas has won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for English fiction.

She joined a list for 14 writers each receiving $25,000, along with their publishers the total prize money handed out is $450,000.

In addition to Thomas, this year’s other English winners are:

Poetry: Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway (Book*hug).

Drama: Other Side of the Game by Amanda Parris (Playwrights Canada Press). This category included the artistic director of the National Arts Centre’s Indigenous Theatre and Ottawa native Hannah Moscovitch.

Non-Fiction: To the River: Losing My Brother by Don Gillmor (Random House Canada)

Young People’s Literature, Text: Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow (Scholastic).

Young People’s Literature, Illustrated: Small in the City by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books).

Translation (from French to English): Birds of a Kind, translated by Linda Gaboriau of Montreal (Playwrights Canada Press) from “Tous des oiseaux” by Wajdi Mouawad, the former artistic director of the National Arts Centre’s French Theatre department.

2019 French-language winners are: 

Fiction: Le drap blanc by Céline Huyghebaert (Le Quartanier)

Poetry: Le tendon et l’os by Anne-Marie Desmeules (L’Hexagone, Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature)

Drama: Havre by Mishka Lavigne of Gatineau (Les Éditions L’Interligne)

Non-fiction: Le droit du plus fort : nos dommages, leurs intérêts by Anne-Marie Voisard (Les Éditions Écosociété)

Young People’s Literature – Text: L’albatros et la mésange by Dominique Demers (Éditions Québec Amérique)

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Jack et le temps perdu by Stéphanie Lapointe and Delphie Côté-Lacroix (Quai no 5, Les Éditions XYZ)

Translation (from English to French): Nous qui n’étions rien. Translated by Catherine Leroux (Éditions Alto); translation of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, Knopf Canada

The winners will be in Ottawa on Dec. 11 and 12 to receive their awards and give public readings.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.