Photo: Heather Saitz
Giller Prize Winner Suzette Mayr Among Finalists Shortlisted for 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards
The 14 winners, who will each receive a prize of $25,000, will be announced Nov. 8 / BY Andrew Wright / October 25th, 2023
Suzette Mayr is among the authors shortlisted for this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards. The Calgary writer’s novel, The Sleeping Car Porter, which won the Giller Prize last year, is among the books competing for the $25,000 purse in the fiction category. The other novels on the fiction shortlist are: We Spread by Iain Reid, In the Upper Country by Kai Thomas, A History of Burning by Janika Oza and Chrysalis by Anuja Varghese.
“Announcing the 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards finalists is exciting for everyone involved because we get to celebrate and help draw attention to some of this year’s most remarkable literary works,” the Canada Council for the Arts, the Crown corporation behind the prize, said in a press release.
The rather long short list includes 70 finalists in seven French and seven English categories. The 14 winners, who will each receive $25,000, will be announced Nov. 8.
This year’s list is also notable for including Indigenous authors, like Kim Spencer, a member of the Ts’msyen Nation, a finalist in the young people’s literature category for Weird Rules to Follow, a novel that earned three prizes at this year’s Canadian Children’s Book Awards.
Meanwhile, Cree and Lakota playwright Cliff Cardinal is nominated in the English drama category for Shakespeare’s As You Like It: A Radical Retelling, and Soleil Launière, an Inuk from Pekuakami (Lac St. Jean), Que., is nominated in the French drama category for Akuteu.
CBC investigative journalist Angela Sterritt, a member of the Gitxsan Nation, made the shortlist in the non-fiction category for Unbroken: My Fight for Survival, Hope, and Justice for Indigenous Women and Girls, which is also short-listed for the $75,000 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
Created in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards has highlighted and honoured a who’s who of literary powerhouses including Thomas King, Madeleine Thien, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro and Canada’s Queen of Letters, Margaret Atwood.