The end of the year: a time when people reflect on the most significant developments in their field, and, honestly, on myriad unrelated occurrences and happenings as well. Where are we going and what have we done? This year, I think the conversation about literature in Canada belongs to Canada’s female readers and writers for a few key reasons.
Congratulations are due to the winners of the major literary prizes of the season. Not only will their publishers sell copies – increases from the thousands to the, well, dozens, depending on the genre – but their names will circulate more freely in the public sphere, their reputations increase substantially, and so they will find and delight more readers. We readers are, ultimately, the beneficiaries of these prizes when we find a new author to love, when we are introduced to a new genre we may investigate and savour for decades to come, when we introduce other readers in turn to books that please them.
It’s that time of year again: autumn is upon us, with the tang of decay in the air and the scent of paper burning in the woodstove. And paper, bound into books and printed in interesting and artisanal fonts, is the order of the day for lovers of Canadian literature in autumn. Forthwith: the shortlisted nominees for the three principal English-language fiction prizes of the season, for your readerly delectation, and possibly a quick trip to the local bookmaker on the corner.
Congratulations to Ken Babstock , who last evening won the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize for a Canadian poet, for his fourth collection, Methodist Hatchet. Babstock was in the running with much-respected poets Jan Zwicky (for Forge, and whose Songs for Relinquishing the Earth won the 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry) and Phil Hall […]
Congratulations to all the winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards for 2011! In the English category, those recognized for their superb publications this year are:
Fiction – Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (Anansi)
Non-Fiction – Charles Foran, Mordecai: The Life and Times (Knopf)
Poetry – Phil Hall, Killdeer (BookThug)
Hard on the heels of the other members of the “big three” English-language fiction triumvirate in Canada, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlists were announced today. In the English-language fiction category, the awaited shortlist reads:
Aaand they’re off! It’s the Rogers Writers’ Trust first out of the gate, with the Giller close behind and the Governor General’s Literary Awards coming up fast. Whatever you think of the growth of “prize culture,” in Canada autumn is the season of words on the page, Word on the Street, and the hope, speculation, and intrigue of our major literary competitions. It’s a season when CanLit captures the attention of the public more than ever.