Three Toronto writers take home Governor General’s awards (two, somehow, for “bird” books)
The Canada Council for the Arts announced this year’s Governor General’s Literary Award winners today, marking the awards’ 75th anniversary. Among the 14 winners, three Torontonians took home $25,000 prizes. Erin Shields was selected as the English-language winner in the drama category for If We Were Birds, a reimagining of the myth of Procne and Philomela that examines the sexual politics of war. In children’s lit, Christopher Moore impressed with From Then to Now: A Short History of the World, whose “energetic narrative tells a story that rivals the very best fiction,” according to the G.G. judges. And in illustrated children’s lit, Cybèle Young prevailed with Ten Birds, during which, the judges note somewhat gnomically, “a disarmingly simple story becomes a complex discussion of the adjectives used to ‘pidgeon-hole’ individuals in society.” And while he’s not a Torontonian per se, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the win for sometime-Toronto Life contributor Charles Foran, whose Mordecai: The Life and Times was recognized in the non-fiction category. The full list of winners is available on the Canada Council’s website.