2021 Governor General's Literary Awards Finalists

October 20, 2021 | Book Buzz

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The Governor General's Literary Awards were created in 1936 by the country's 15th Governor General, John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir. Buchan was also an author best known for the adventure novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps

The awards are presented in 14 categories -- 7 in each of the official languages. The winner in each category receives $25,000 and each finalist is awarded $1,000. 

The complete list can be found at Governor General's Literary Awards. Here are the nominees in the English Adult categories.



Crippled by Paul David Power


Selfie by Christine Quintana

Sexual misconduct of the middle classes

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes by Hannah Moscovitch

Take d milk nah

Take D Milk, Nah? by Jivesh Parasram

Two indians

Two Indians by Falen Johnson



Fictional father

Fictional Father by Joe Ollmann

Home waltz

Home Waltz by G. A. Grisenthwaite

Second place

Second Place by Rachel Cusk


Tainna: The Unseen Ones, Short Stories by Norma Dunning

You are eating an orange you are naked

You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. by Sheung-King




Alfabet/Alphabet: A Memoir of a First Language by Sadiqa de Meijer

Care of

Care of: Letters, Connections, and Cures by Ivan Coyote

Day the world stops shopping

The Day the World Stops Shopping by J. B. MacKinnon

Revery a year of bees

Revery: A Year of Bees by Jenna Butler

What i remember what i know

What I Remember, What I Know: The Life of a High Arctic Exile by Larry Audlaluk



A history of the theories of rain

A History of the Theories of Rain by Stephen Collis

Junta of happenstance

The Junta of Happenstance by Tolu Oloruntoba


Sulphurtongue by Rebecca Salazar

Thousand times you lose your treasure

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure by Hoa Nguyen


The Untranslatable I by Roxanna Bennett 

  • Not currently in the library system.


Translation: French to English

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

Cemetery for bees

A Cemetery for Bees by Alina Dumitrescu, translated by Katia Grubisic

The lover the lake

The Lover, The Lake by Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau, translated by Susan Ouriou

Paul at home

Paul at Home by Michel Rabagliati, translated by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall

People state and war under the french regime

People, State, and War Under the French Regime in Canada by Louise Dechêne, translated by Peter Feldstein

This radiant life

This Radiant Life by Chantal Neveu, translated by Erin Moure


The winners will be announced on November 17, 2021.