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Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Awards

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This morning, the Canada Council for the Arts announced the nominees for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Awards. Including French and English nominees, 70 works have been honoured, with writers, illustrators, and translators nominated over seven categories. The GGs, as they're known, were founded in 1936 and are amongst the older literary awards in the country. Winners receive $25,000 each. The announcement rounds out the three major fiction award shortlists of the year, with the Scotiabank Giller Prize and Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize shortlists announced in September. 

Just a few of the notable nominees include acclaimed multi-genre writer Sheila Heti and newly celebrated debut novelist Brian Thomas Isaac in the fiction category; iconic poet Anne Carson and 2021 Griffin Prize finalist David Bradford in the poetry category; and powerhouse writing team Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in the nonfiction category.

The winners will be announced on November 16 in an online event at

English-language Governor General's Literary Award finalists for 2022:


  • All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac (Brindle & Glass / TouchWood Editions)
  • Finding Edward by Sheila Murray (Cormorant Books)
  • Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson (Doubleday Canada / Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Pure Colour by Sheila Heti (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat (McClelland & Stewart / Penguin Random House Canada)


  • Dream of No One But Myself by David Bradford (Brick Books)
  • H of H Playbook by Anne Carson (New Directions Publishing)
  • Horrible Dance by Avery Lake (Brick Books)
  • Shadow Blight by Annick MacAskill (Gaspereau Press)
  • Shifting Baseline Syndrome by Aaron Kreuter (University of Regina Press)


  • Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down by Robert Chafe (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Inheritance: a pick-the-path experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Talonbooks)
  • Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) and Antigone:  by Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho) (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Lady Sunrise by Marjorie Chan (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key by Dorothy Dittrich (Talonbooks)


  • Aki-Wayn-Zih: A Person as Worthy as the Earth by Eli Baxter (McGill-Queen’s University Press
  • All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca Donner (Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Book Group
  • Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of ClimateCrisis by Britt Wray (Penguin Random House)
  • Persephone’s Children: A Life in Fragments by Rowan McCandless (Rare Machines / Dundurn Press)
  • Rehearsals for Living by Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Knopf Canada / Penguin Random House Canada)

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • A Boy Is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel (Groundwood / House of Anansi Press)
  • Sorry for Your Loss by Joanne Levy (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Step by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood / House of Anansi)
  • The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson (Heartdrum / HarperCollins)
  • Urchin by Kate Story (Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides)

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

  • kā-āciwīkicik / The Move by Doris George, Don K. Philpot, and Alyssa Koski (Heritage House)
  • Mina by Matthew Forsythe (Simon & Schuster Canada)
  • The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear and Gracey Zhang (Random House Studio, Penguin Random House)
  • The Sour Cherry Tree by Naseem Hrab and Nahid Kazemi (Owlkids Books)
  • Time is a Flower by Julie Morstad (Tundra Books, Penguin Random House Canada)

Translation (from French to English)

  • History of the Jews in Quebec, Translated by Judith Weisz Woodsworth (University of Ottawa Press). A translation of Histoire des Juifs du Québec, by Pierre Anctil.
  • Remnants, Translated by Aleshia Jensen (Book*hug Press). A translation of Le drap blanc, by Céline Huyghebaert.
  • They Called Us Savages: A Hereditary Chief’s Quest for Truth and Harmony, Translated by Ben Vrignon (Vidacom Publications). A translation of On nous appelait les Sauvages : souvenirs et espoirs d’un chef héréditaire algonquin, by Dominique Rankin and Marie-Josée Tardif.
  • This Is How I Disappear, Translated by Aleshia Jensen and Bronwyn Haslam (Drawn & Quarterly). A translation of C’est comme ça que je disparais, by Mirion Malle.
  • White Resin, Translated by Susan Ouriou (House of Anansi Press). A translation of Blanc Résine, by Audrée Wilhelmy.