News Releases - < 2000
The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards
Ottawa, 19 October 1999 - The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the names of the nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards, in English and French, in the categories of fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, children's literature (text and illustration), and translation.
[Book covers are available from the Governor General's Literary Awards page on this site.]
The winners in each category will be revealed at 10:00 am on Tuesday, 16 November 1999, at a press conference at the National Library of Canada. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, will present the laureates with their prizes during a ceremony at Rideau Hall the same day at 4:00 pm.
"Once again, the Canada Council for the Arts has demonstrated the valuable role it plays in celebrating and supporting the literary arts. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my best wishes to this year's nominees whose outstanding achievements are helping to shape this country's rich cultural expression" said Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
"For over 60 years, the Governor General's Literary Awards have celebrated and promoted Canadian authors," announced Jean-Louis Roux, Chairman of the Canada Council. "The Awards recognize the diversity and incredible scope of Canadian writing in English and French. If today Canadian voices in literature are heard throughout Canada and around the world, it is in no small measure due to the support of these Awards."
The names of the nominees and the titles of their works are listed below. The jury's citation is included for each work. The names of the 42 members comprising the 14 independent peer juries (seven English, seven French) are listed at the conclusion of this communiqué.
"For the past 13 years, Bank of Montreal has been involved in the recognition and support of Canadian literature through our sponsorship of the Governor General's Literary Awards," said Yvan Bourdeau, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nesbitt Burns, Bank of Montreal Group of Companies. "We believe our partnership with The Canada Council for the Arts has helped promote Canada's best literary talent."
For the eighth consecutive year, the National Library of Canada will invite all the winners to read from their works at a gala on Wednesday 17 November at 7:30 pm. The Council wishes to thank the National Library of Canada for its continued support.
Neil Bissoondath, Sainte-Foy (Quebec), for The Worlds Within Her (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 0-676-97122-9)
A compelling tale of memory, resilience and reconciliation. Bissoondath captures the spirit of newness by celebrating the old.
Matt Cohen, Toronto, for Elizabeth and After (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 0-676-97170-9)
Masterfully written and thoroughly engaging. Cohen captures elegantly the sentiments of rural life by populating it with the indomitable and universal.
Anne Fleming, Vancouver, for Pool-hopping and Other Stories (Polestar Book Publishers; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-896095-18-6)
Families fall away and come together, friends and lovers strive for connection, the gap between generations can widen and narrow within the space of a single page. Anne Fleming seems to know a great deal about need and the evasiveness of love.
Elyse Gasco, Montreal, for Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby? (McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Canbook Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7710-3297-8)
This beautifully crafted collection of stories explores the knots and bonds of motherhood, from pregnancy to adoption. Elyse Gasco's sensibility is utterly original and her stories shine with authenticity and wisdom.
Keith Maillard, Vancouver, for Gloria (HarperCollins; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 0-00-648175-2)
Keith Maillard's Gloria is a portrait of the artist as a young cheerleader. Gloria Merriman Cotter's journey from pampered co-ed to aspiring poet takes us through the vanities, shibboleths, prejudices, excesses and conformist dreams of the stifling fifties. Maillard has rendered and exposed this era with great intimacy and obsessive care.
Lynn Davies, McLeod Hill, New Brunswick, for The Bridge that Carries the Road (Brick Books; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-894078-01-2)
In The Bridge that Carries the Road, Lynn Davies has crafted an inspired collection of poetry. Her imagery is original without straining to be so, and her poems resonate long after being read because of their wisdom and their music.
Susan Goyette, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for The True Names of Birds (Brick Books; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-919626-99-8)
Susan Goyette's gifted, resonating voice fills each poem as they explore with honesty and care parenthood, family and love in ways both startling and new. With her many long lines and lyrical power she manages to take us to the very heart of where we live and love.
Richard Harrison, Calgary, Alberta, for Big Breath of a Wish (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 0-919897-62-2)
Richard Harrison captures with elegance, grace and candor the first year of his daughter's life. Through precise, tautly shaped poems we get to hear her voice develop from sound to syllable to sentence, experiencing along with her the very shaping of self.
Terence Young, Victoria, British Columbia, for The Island in Winter (Signal Editions/Véhicule Press; distributed by General Distribution Services)
The Island in Winter is a solid collection of poetry by Terence Young, whose subjects candidly explore family, fatherhood, and marriage, and are haunting with their honesty. The strong sense of narrative pulls the reader through several poems, and this same strength provides a satisfying union for the collection as a whole.
Jan Zwicky, Victoria, British Columbia, for Songs for Relinquishing the Earth (Brick Books; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-894078-00-4)
A compelling and versatile intelligence, along with exquisitely modulated rhythms of feeling, govern Jan Zwicky's Songs for Relinquishing the Earth. Grounding her elegant metaphysical and aesthetic insights in the physicality of the natural world and our own sensual natures, Zwicky shows that poetry is the best manifestation of philosophy.
Michael Healey, Toronto, for The Drawer Boy (Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by Playwrights Union of Canada) (ISBN 0-88754-568-8)
A profoundly moving piece that explores the power of memory, the need for love, and the ability of art itself to transform lives.
Wendy Lill, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for Corker (Talonbooks; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-88922-394-7)
A mentally handicapped man is dropped through the social safety net only to end up on the doorstep of a maniacal cost-cutting bureaucrat. Lill has created a passionate, political and surprisingly funny play about our society's inability to care for the disadvantaged.
Daniel MacIvor, Toronto, for Marion Bridge (Talonbooks; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-88922-407-2)
A beautifully crafted and honest play about three sisters whose lives collide unexpectedly upon their mother's death. MacIvor plumbs the moving and often funny contradictions of the human heart.
Colleen Murphy, Toronto, for Beating Heart Cadaver (Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by Playwrights Union of Canada) (ISBN 0-88754-567-X)
Beautifully moving. Wondrously humorous. In an extraordinary examination of the sudden and tragic death of a child, Murphy has managed to express the inexpressible.
Theresa Tova, Toronto, for Still the Night (Scirocco Drama/J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-896239-36-6)
A tender, intimate, raw and stunningly rendered exploration by a daughter of her mother's remarkable struggle for survival as a young Jewish girl during the Second World War.
Donald Harman Akenson, Gananoque, Ontario, for Surpassing Wonder - The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds (McGill-Queen's University Press; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7735-1781-2)
Surpassing Wonder - The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds is a work of epic scope written in an engaging and approachable style. Professor Akenson convincingly marries two religious traditions that have been historically irreconcilable.
Michael Bliss, Toronto, for William Osler - A Life in Medicine (University of Toronto Press; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 0-8020-4349-6)
In William Osler - A Life in Medicine, Michael Bliss tells a story of compelling interest. He skilfully interweaves the personal life story with the development of medicine and the history of his times.
Wayson Choy, Toronto, for Paper Shadows - A Chinatown Childhood (Viking/Penguin Books Canada; distributed by Canbook) (ISBN 0-670-87709-3)
Wayson Choy's Chinatown Childhood is a powerful yet unsentimental memoir that opens the door on one of Canada's richest immigrant experiences. At the same time, he demonstrates that ethnic origin notwithstanding, the child is truly the father of the man.
Marq de Villiers, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, for Water (Stoddart Publishing; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7737-3163-6)
A passionately written and broadly researched investigation on a subject of widespread importance. This important book on the world's looming water crisis is both readable and informative.
Wayne Johnston, Toronto, for Baltimore's Mansion - A Memoir (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 0-676-97146-6)
Baltimore's Mansion is a memoir of hypnotic power and purity of line. Like Newfoundland, the singular province it brings to life through the eyes of a native son, it will endure.
Children's Literature - Text
Don Gillmor, Toronto, for The Christmas Orange (Stoddart Publishing; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7737-3100-8)
The Christmas Orange is a delightful, contemporary Christmas cracker, veritably popping and sizzling with wit. It is a fable for our times; crisply told and hilariously relevant.
Rachna Gilmore, Gloucester, Ontario, for A Screaming Kind of Day (Fitzhenry & Whiteside; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 1-55041-514-X)
A Screaming Kind of Day adroitly captures the essence of Scully, as she experiences the ups and downs of a rainy day at home. What Scully hears depends upon whether she chooses to wear her hearing aid. Rachna Gilmore masterfully produces a character and story which speak eloquently of the uniqueness of all children.
Graham McNamee, Vancouver, for Hate You (Delacorte Press/Random House; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 0-385-32593-2)
An intense, challenging novel of a young woman who feels robbed of her trust and her voice. Seventeen-year old Alice's anger burns as ferociously as the bitter songs inside her, until the resurfacing and confrontation with her personal demon lead her to recognize the value and power of the voice she has. Hate You is a compelling and uncompromising debut of an exciting new writer.
W.D. Valgardson, Victoria, British Columbia, for The Divorced Kids Club and Other Stories (Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-88899-369-2 - bound; ISBN 0-88899-370-6 - paperback)
Valgardson's seven short stories capture the lives of teenagers forced to adjust to changing circumstances in the turbulent nineties. Economical, lyrical and honest, his prose draws vivid characters who remain after the story is told.
Frieda Wishinsky, Willowdale, Ontario, for Each One Special (Orca Book Publishers; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-55143-122-X)
Ben visits Harry the cake decorator every day after school and sometimes Harry lets him help. Each One Special is a joyful call to the creator in every child.
Children's Literature - Illustration
Gary Clement, Toronto, for The Great Poochini, text by Gary Clement (Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-88899-331-5)
This book barks up the right tree, fresh, clean and well designed with inventive ink and water-colour illustrations.
Rose Cowles, Victoria, British Columbia, for I Know an Old Laddie, text by Jean Little (Viking/Penguin Books; distributed by Canbook Distribution Services)
A wild imaginative spoof on the popular folk rhyme, brilliantly illustrated with a playful wit and outrageous situations.
Zhong-Yang Huang, Regina, Saskatchewan, for The Dragon New Year, text by David Bouchard (Raincoast Books; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 1-55192-200-2)
Each page soars with the evocative scenes of desolation, sea and fire. Zhong-Yang Huang's compelling canvas illustrations illuminate this tale of how Chinese New Year celebrations may have begun.
Ludmila Zeman, Saint-Laurent, Quebec, for Sindbad: from the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights, text by Ludmila Zeman (Tundra Books; distributed by Canbook Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-88776-460-6)
All the romance, danger and drama of this adventure leap from the pages, the riveting scenes barely held in check by the border designs that convey the colour and intricacy of Persian calligraphy and carpets. This is a rich, well-researched and imaginative work with a humour and grimness that will appeal to young readers.
Werner Zimmermann, Guelph, Ontario, for Brave Highland Heart, text by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart (Stoddart Kids; distributed by General Distribution Services)
Zimmermann solidly delivers visually the engaging story of a resourceful child determined to be part of an evening's fun. The art crackles with vitality. The rich watercolours and bold compositions have no unnecessary detail nor sentimentality, but every bit of the atmosphere and all the affection and emotional punch needed.
Translation (from French to English)
Patricia Claxton, Montreal, for Gabrielle Roy: A Life (McClelland & Stewart; distributed by Canbook Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7710-7451-4)
English version of Gabrielle Roy, Une Vie, by François Ricard (Éditions du Boréal)
Patricia Claxton has not only fully rendered a serious scholarly work but has produced an eminently readable biography of a major Canadian author.
David Homel, Montreal, for Olivo Oliva (Stoddart Publishing; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7737-6068-7)
English version of Olivo Oliva, by Philippe Poloni (Lanctôt Éditeur)
To the stylistic bravado of the original, David Homel succeeds in providing an elegant and uncluttered translation, without losing the author's exuberant playfulness.
Nancy Huston, Paris, France, for The Mark of the Angel (McArthur & Company; distributed by Harper Collins) (ISBN 1-55278-084-8)
English version of L'Empreinte de l'ange, by Nancy Huston (Leméac Éditeur/Actes Sud)
Nancy Huston has produced an inspiring and inspired translation that is faithful to the original without being slavish or literal. The English version retains the distinctive narrative voice and brings Paris in the 60s to life.
Lazer Lederhendler, Montreal, for The Sparrow has Cut the Day in Half (Exile Editions; distributed by McArthur & Company) (ISBN 1-55096-150-0)
English version of Bonheur, oiseau rare, by Claire Dé (XYZ Éditeur)
Lazer Lederhendler not only strictly adheres to the haiku form of this novel in verse, but ingeniously renders the sprightly, wistful yet sardonic tone of this love story.
Donald Winkler, Montreal, for The World of the Gift (McGill-Queen's University Press; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 0-7735-1751-0)
English version of L'Esprit du don, by Jacques T. Godbout in collaboration with Alain Caillé (Éditions du Boréal/Éditions La Découverte)
Donald Winkler has met the difficult challenge of translating an academic treatise while remaining accessible to lay readers. He masters the scientific terminology and achieves a fluid, readable style.
Hugues Corriveau, Weedon, Quebec, for Le Ramasseur de souffle (L'instant même; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89502-122-8)
These stories are imbued with intelligent, sensitive creativity. A book where passions obey the law of excess and the jubilation of unbridled sensuality.
Jacques Marchand, Longueuil, Quebec, for Les Vents dominants (Éditions de l'Hexagone; distributed by les Messageries A.D.P.) (ISBN 2-89006-620-7)
A rich, brilliantly written novel with a rare mastery of narrative, whose beauty, violence and obsession cast a spell on the reader.
Carole Massé, Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, Quebec, for L'Ennemi (Éditions Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89419-139-1)
A woman and a mysterious enemy face off in a dreamlike, terrifying universe. Precise, subtle language enriches the implacable unfurling of the narrative.
Gaétan Soucy, Longueuil, Quebec, for La Petite Fille qui aimait trop les allumettes (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89052-913-4)
The death of a father seen through a child's eyes. In a sort of fable that tries to distance sorrow, the author has created a celebration of language that is both a tribute to literature and a recreation of the written word.
Lise Tremblay, Montreal, for La Danse juive (Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-7609-3217-6)
Lise Tremblay's characters seem destined for irremediable solitude. These are inner exiles, viewed by the author with a freshness that is occasionally ironic and always clearsighted. A strong novel, whose great intensity is accentuated by its sober prose.
Claude Beausoleil, Montreal, for Le Chant du voyageur (Éditions Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89419-146-4)
In his latest collection, Claude Beausoleil dons the "arborescent mask of the poet", that "singular plural" being, the archetype who hears the "turbulence of others in himself."
Nicole Brossard, Outremont, Quebec, for Musée de l'os et de l'eau (Éditions du Noroît/Cadex Éditions; distributed by Éditions Fides) (ISBN 2-89018-358-0)
Nicole Brossard makes words and concepts shine with intelligence as they connect with her vision of the world. She organizes a wholly visual structure as she observes and experiences moments of everyday life, leaving sparks of brilliance and delight in our memories.
Herménégilde Chiasson, Robichaud, New Brunswick, for Conversations (Éditions d'Acadie; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-7600-0343-4)
The voices of men and women travel like angels in the fibre optics of an underground stream of sorrow that binds them, "implacably recorded" by the poet. Writing that is extremely dense and - paradoxically - classical and highly modern.
Carole David, Montreal, for La Maison d'Ophélie (Éditions Les Herbes rouges; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89419-145-6)
Carole David's La Maison d'Ophélie travels through several houses subverted by the play of reflections and resonance. Filled with a disturbing strangeness, a woman faced with her daily existence awaits, with faintly black humour, the terrible, final revelation.
Pierre Ouellet, Montreal, for Dieu sait quoi (Éditions du Noroît; distributed by Éditions Fides) (ISBN 2-89018-409-9)
With words and wordplay as his sole support, Pierre Ouellet dares to show how the denial of God is the ultimate invocation for the renewal of the ties binding the word and the world. In an ironic reprise of the biblical figure of Job, Dieu sait quoi plays for high stakes, filling the empty tomb with words awaiting what is infinitely mysterious and hidden.
Jean-Marc Dalpé, Montreal, for Il n'y a que l'amour (Éditions Prise de parole; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-89423-095-8)
The dense and polished language of Jean-Marc Dalpé gives speech to those who have none. With simple words and a powerful narrative, he breathes life into complex characters.
Carole Fréchette, Montreal, for Les Sept Jours de Simon Labrosse (Leméac Éditeur/Actes Sud-Papiers; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-7427-2056-1)
With humour and tenderness, Carole Fréchette invents a fable on the emptiness of our times and the emotional wandering that accompanies it.
René Gingras, Eastman (Quebec), for D'Avila (Éditions Lansman; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-87282-262-3)
In rich language, René Gingras brings astonishing humanity to the character of Theresa of Avila without ever reducing her to her myth.
Michel Tremblay, Montreal, for Encore une fois, si vous permettez (Leméac Éditeur; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-7609-0366-4)
In Encore une fois, si vous permettez, Michel Tremblay comes full circle with the mythical mother who is at the basis of his work. With the immense theatrical strength of this tribute, Tremblay topples the real world into the world of theatre.
Anne Élaine Cliche, Outremont, Quebec, for Dire le livre (XYZ Éditeur; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89261-193-8)
Audacious research that is admirable for its openness and erudition. From the evangelical tradition and the torah through to Freudian psychoanalysis, this work conjures some of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century: Kafka, Beckett, Artaud, Genet and Lacan. The end result is a series of rare and marvellous encounters, virtual shock waves confirmed by Anne Élaine Cliche's refined prose.
Jean-Claude Dubé, Hull, Québec, for Le Chevalier de Montmagny - Premier gouverneur de la Nouvelle-France (Éditions Fides; distributed by the publisher)
Jean-Claude Dubé fills a gap in our knowledge in giving historians and history lovers this very thorough biography of Charles Huault de Montmagny, the first governor of New France. The author untangles the web of the administrator's origins in a limpid text that evokes and explores the influences Montmagny was subject to, his ties to the Jesuits and the Order of Malta and his role in the settlement and growth of the colony.
François-Marc Gagnon, Montreal, for Chronique du mouvement automatiste québécois 1941-1954 (Lanctôt Éditeur; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-89485-057-3)
The fruit of exhaustive research on all the various aspects of automatism, this dense work is a definitive document on the movement as well as the individual evolution of each of its members. Behind every detail we sense the penetrating, occasionally ironic and always objective gaze of the author.
Daniel Jacques, Quebec City, for Nationalité et Modernité (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89052-935-5)
A systematic reflection on the history of the idea of nationhood since the 18th century, this careful, lucid work invites us to rethink the relationship between universality and diversity. Bringing into play a remarkable array of ideas that are essential to our times, including globalization and individualism, Daniel Jacques urges contemporary society to restore meaning to the structures of solidarity and national affiliation.
Pierre Perrault, deceased, for Le Mal du Nord (Éditions Vents d'Ouest; distributed by Diffusion Prologue) (ISBN 2-921603-90-X)
A passionate, poetic voyage toward a beloved place, people and woman. This book, which brings together the qualities of autobiography, documentary and essay, is also a reflection on values that withstand death and the passage of time.
Children's Literature - Text
Agathe Génois, Abercorn, Quebec, for Adieu, vieux lézard! (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by les Messageries A.D.P.)
"Old Lizard" is the nickname of the sour-tempered grandmother of the story. In the heart of the old lady, however, lives a forgotten little girl. This lovely story looks at old age in a humorous and tender light, from an original point of view.
Charlotte Gingras, Montreal, for La Liberté? Connais pas... (Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Québec-Livres) (ISBN 2-89021-343-9)
Mirabelle is a 15-year-old girl with a fruit for a name and hundreds of unanswered questions in her heart. Charlotte Gingras has written a novel that is powerful and thought-provoking, occasionally harsh but always poetic, carving emotions with the precision of a scalpel.
Andrée-Anne Gratton, Outremont, Quebec, for Le Message du biscuit chinois (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89052-918-5)
What child hasn't dreamt - at least once - of changing his parents? This question is the premise for an outrageous adventure full of unexpected turns that leads Hugo to discover his parents.
Sylvie Nicolas, Quebec City, for Célestine Motamo (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Éditions Héritage; distributed by les Messageries A.D.P.)
This delicious story should be savoured like the carrot cake concocted by Célestine Motamo, a sweet old lady aged 72. The style is light, the words dance and the emotions are tender and true.
Raymond Plante, Saint-Lambert, Quebec, for Marilou Polaire et l'iguane des neiges (Éditions de la courte échelle; distributed by Québec-Livres) (ISBN 2-89021-336-6)
While in search of the snow iguana, Marilou Polaire discovers friendship. This touching story, both fanciful and perceptive, is in the best tradition of Christmas tales, filled with love of live and the joy of new beginnings.
Children's Literature - Illustration
Stéphane Jorish, Montreal, for Charlotte et l'île du destin, text by Olivier Lasser (Éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-921620-13-8)
Stéphane Jorish's work combines fantasy and humour with extraordinary virtuosity. His colourful illustrations and refreshing designs are consistently refined and delicate.
Nicole Lafond, Montreal, for Contes pour enfants, text by Gabrielle Roy (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89052-915-0)
Humour and sensitivity are communicated with concision and style. The broad strokes and reduced palette of half-tones make for a simplicity that reinforces the expression of the images.
Michèle Lemieux, Montreal, for Nuit d'orage, text by Michèle Lemieux (Éditions du Seuil; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-02-030759-6)
A lovely, thoughtful book for all ages. The originality and economy of means skilfully translate the power of the imagination during a stormy night. Words are transcended by the subtlety of the illustrator's sure touch.
Luc Melanson, Montreal, for La Petite Kim, text by Kim Yaroshevskaya (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89052-865-0)
Luc Melanson has masterfully created an atmosphere of Soviet Russia. These delicate illustrations have an irresistible nostalgic tenderness, punctuated by the occasional irony.
Pierre Pratt, Montreal, for La Vie exemplaire de Martha et Paul, text by Pierre Pratt (Éditions du Seuil; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-02-033156-X)
In a décor of disarmingly simple forms, filled with warm colours and quirks of detail, Pierre Pratt delivers a humorous look at life and its vagaries.
Translation (English to French)
Jacques Brault, Saint-Armand, Quebec, for Transfiguration (Éditions du Noroît/BuschekBooks; distributed by Éditions Fides/General Distribution Services) (ISBN 2-89018-418-8 Noroît/ISBN 0-9699904-6-4 BuschekBooks)
French version of Transfiguration by E.D. Blodgett and Jacques Brault (Éditions du Noroît/BuschekBooks)
Poetry is always a challenge for translators. Jacques Brault translates with such elegance and sensitivity that one could readily believe Blodgett's poems had been written in French.
Charlotte Melançon, Montreal, for Réflexions d'un frère siamois - Le Canada à l'aube du XXIe siècle (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French version of Reflections of a Siamese Twin - Canada at the End of the Twentieth Century by John Ralston Saul (Penguin Books)
Charlotte Melançon has seamlessly rendered the meditations of this major English-Canadian essayist. She is attentive and faithful to every nuance of the original text, and carefully avoids the inherent pitfalls of translation.
Marie José Thériault, Montreal, for Ours (Calmann-Lévy; distributed by Hachette Canada) (ISBN 2-7021-2992-7)
French version of Bear by Marian Engel (McClelland and Stewart)
This translation, which manages to be both faithful and daring, attests to an enormous sensitivity to the work of Marian Engel. The rightness of her tone and richness of her vocabulary reproduce the troubling atmosphere of the novel and the subtle evolution of the main character.
The winners of the Canada Council for the Arts Governor General's Literary Awards are chosen by independent peer juries in each category (seven English and seven French), appointed by the Council. The juries, which meet separately, consider all eligible books published between 1 September 1998 and 30 September 1999 for English-language books and between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 1999 for French-language books. This year, a total of 1,146 titles, 648 in the English-language categories and 498 in the French-language categories, were submitted.
The names of the jury members follow.
Fiction: David Carpenter, Carole Corbeil, Cecil Foster
Poetry: Marilyn Dumont, Robert Hilles, Richard Lemm
Drama: Djanet Sears, Mary Vingoe, Bob White
Nonfiction: Joan Givner, Michael Harris, Blair Stonechild
Children's Literature - Text: David Boyd, James Heneghan, Diana Wieler
Children's Literature - Illustration: Sheldon Cohen, Kady MacDonald Denton, Martin Springett
Translation: Sarah Cummins, Albert W. Halsall, Robert Majzels
Fiction: Francine D'Amour, Madeleine Ouellette Michalska, Pierre Samson
Poetry: Suzanne Jacob, Roméo Savoie, Yolande Villemaire
Drama: Michelle Allen, Hélène Dumas, André Perrier
Nonfiction: Hélène-Andrée Bizier, François Paré, Patricia Smart
Children's Literature - Text: Jean-Louis Grosmaire, Anne Legault,
Children's Literature - Illustration: Flavie Beaudet, Normand Cousineau,
Translation: Patricia Godbout, Louis Jolicoeur, Hélène Rioux
For further information about the awards, please contact Josiane Polidori at
1-800-263-5588, ext. 5576.
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