2020 Governor General's Literary Award Winners

June 3, 2021 | Book Buzz

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The winners of the 2020 Governor General's Literary Awards were announced on June 1, 2021. The awards, usually presented in the fall, had been postponed due to Covid-19. 

Awards are presented in 14 categories — 7 in each of the official languages.

These are the winners in the English Adult categories:

Drama Winner:


Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch's Story by Kim Senklip Harvey with The Fire Company

The nominees:


Bug by Yolanda Bonnell

Guarded girls

Guarded Girls by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman

Quick bright things

Quick Bright Things by Christopher Cook

Sound of the beast

Sound of the Beast by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard


Fiction Winner: 

Five little indians

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

The nominees:

Baudelaire fractal

The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson

Butter honey pig bread

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Indians on vacation

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King


Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson


Non-Fiction Winner:

This red line goes straight to your heart

This Red Line Goes Straight to your Heart: A Memoir in Halves by Madhur Anand

The nominees:


Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space by Amanda Leduc

History of my brief body

A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Rebent sinner

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote

Shame on me

Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging by Tessa McWatt


Poetry Winner:

Norma jeane baker of troy

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy by Anne Carson

The nominees:


The Dyzgraphxst by Canesia Lubrin

Eight track

Eight Track: Poems and Photographs by Oana Avasilichioaei


Orrery by Donna Kane


Render by Sachiko Murakami


Translation: French to English Winner

In this category, the award is presented to the translator of the work. 

If you hear me

If You Hear Me by Pascale Quiviger, translation by Lazer Lederhendler

The nominees:

Amaryllis and little witch

Amaryllis and Little Witch by Pascal Brullemans, translation by Alexis Diamond 

Back roads

Back Roads by Andrée A. Michaud, translation by J.C. Sutcliffe

Country will bring us no peace

The Country Will Bring Us No Peace by Matthieu Simard, translation by Pablo Strauss

The neptune room

The Neptune Room by Bertrand Laverdure,  translation by Oana Avasilichioaei

The full list of winners can be found on the Governor General's Literary Awards website

The Governor General's Literary Awards will return in the fall for the presentation of the 2021 awards.