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Governor General's Literary Awards 2020


The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of seven categories:
  • Fiction
  • Literary Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Young People’s Literature (Text)
  • Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books)
  • Translation (from French to English, and English to French).

Check out some of the 2019 finalists, below, and read about the 14 winners, here!Including Disfigured, by Amanda Leduc, which is the first Canadian title to be published in all accessible and traditional formats simultaneously!

More titles will be added to this collection over the coming month, so feel free to check back to see what has been included. While we cannot produce all 70 longlisted titles, we encourage you to request the ones you would like to read, in whatever format you need. To access our request form, log into your NNELS account and search for the book you want; if you cannot find it, look for the link to the title request form above the filters on any page of search results.

For more great Canadian reading, please check out the winners and nominees from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
 

  • Author:
    Brullemans, Pascal, Diamond, Alexis
    Summary:

    In these dark fairy tales, two girls face danger while grieving loved ones, and learn some hard truths about growing up along the way. Imaginative and curious, these fables illustrate adventures for children who have to make big choices...

  • Author:
    Michaud, Andrée A., Sutcliffe, J. C.
    Summary:

    In Scotiabank Giller Prize–longlisted author Andrée A. Michaud’s genre-defying, ethereal mystery, a writer encounters her double and must grapple with an undetermined crime — and her own identity.In the dubious sanctuary of a wintry...

  • bug
    Author:
    Bonnell, Yolanda
    Summary:

    bug is a solo performance and artistic ceremony that highlights the ongoing effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous women, as well as a testimony to the women's resilience and strength. The Girl...

  • Author:
    Ekwuyasi, Francesca
    Summary:

    "An intergenerational saga about three Nigerian women: a novel about food, family, and forgiveness. Spanning three continents, Butter Honey Pig Bread tells the interconnected stories of three Nigerian women: Kambirinachi and her twin...

  • Author:
    Lafontaine, Marie-Pier
    Summary:

    Cette autofiction raconte une famille dans laquelle un père sadique et tout-puissant fait régner la terreur. Le projet est simple : décrire avec précision l'effroyable barbarie d'un homme qui roue sa fille de coups, qui la tient en...

  • Author:
    Bouchard, Camille
    Summary:

    Alors qu'un Noir est sauvagement pendu à la branche d'un arbre dans la Louisiane au début du XXe siècle, nous découvrons, sous les ramures d'un chêne où la terrible scène a eu lieu, les suites de cette affaire: entre indignation...

  • Author:
    Good, Michelle
    Summary:

    "Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and...

  • Author:
    Nelson, Colleen
    Summary:

    The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to life returns with his tail wagging and his nose sharp, ready for a new adventure Harvey the West Highland Terrier, hero of Harvey Comes Home , is back with his beloved Maggie....

  • Author:
    Smith, Sydney, Scott, Jordan
    Summary:

    When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Through this powerful and uplifting story, poet Jordan...

  • Author:
    Quiviger, Pascale
    Summary:

    Sliding doors open and close automatically, exit to the left, entrance to the right. Beyond it, cars go by, and pedestrians and cyclists. A large park behaves as if nothing has happened. The mirage of a world intact. In an instant, a...

  • Author:
    King, Thomas
    Summary:

    Meet Bird and Mimi in this brilliant new novel from one of Canada's foremost authors. Inspired by a handful of old postcards sent by Uncle Leroy nearly a hundred years earlier, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace Mimi's long-lost uncle and...

  • Author:
    Whitehead, Joshua
    Summary:

    "You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and...

  • Author:
    Bélanger, Jennifer
    Summary:

    Une jeune femme aux prises avec des douleurs chroniques cherche à comprendre et à apprivoiser son mal. Depuis quelque temps, elle s'évanouit dans les lieux publics, sans que la médecine puisse l'expliquer. Des années plus tôt,...

  • Author:
    Cassidy, Sara
    Summary:

    Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone...

  • Author:
    Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake
    Summary:

    Award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson returns with a bold reimagination of the novel, one that combines narrative and poetic fragments through a careful and fierce reclamation of Anishinaabe...

  • Author:
    Carson, Anne
    Summary:

    Anne Carson's new work that reconsiders the stories of two iconic women—Marilyn Monroe and Helen of Troy—from their point of view
    Norma Jeane Baker of Troy is a meditation on the destabilizing and destructive power of beauty,...

  • Author:
    Kane, Donna
    Summary:

    Orrery is a collection that orbits around the theme of Pioneer 10, an American space probe launched in 1972 to study Jupiter's moons. Having achieved many firsts before reaching Jupiter and a few more after being hurled away from the...

  • Author:
    Tamaki, Jillian
    Summary:

    A picture book about a lively evening in a community kitchen from Governor General’s Award–winning author and illustrator Jillian Tamaki.
    Tie on your apron!
    Roll up your sleeves!
    Pans are out, oven is hot.
    ...

  • Author:
    Horvath, Polly
    Summary:

    From Newbery Honor— and National Book Award—winning author Polly Horvath comes a story of four sisters searching for home. Fiona, Marlin, Natasha, and Charlie McCready are left on their own when their missionary parents are washed away...

  • Author:
    Cook, Christopher
    Summary:

    “Everyone hears voices. I’m treated like I’m broken for admitting it.”Can a weekend trip to visit family ever be smooth? Nick was hoping for a quick dinner at his brother Reid’s house when he stopped by with his seventeen-year-old...

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