Governor General's Award for English-language fiction

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The Governor General's Award for English-language fiction is a Canadian literary award that annually recognizes one Canadian writer for a fiction book written in English. Beginning 1987[1] it is one of fourteen Governor General's Awards for Literary Merit, seven each for creators of English- and French-language books. The awards was created by the Canadian Authors Association in partnership with Lord Tweedsmuir in 1936. In 1959, the award became part of the Governor General's Awards program at the Canada Council for the Arts in 1959.[2] The age requirement is 18 and up.

The program was created in 1937 and inaugurated that November for 1936 publications in two English-language categories, conventionally called the 1936 Governor General's Awards.[1]

The winners alone were announced until 1979, when Canada Council released in advance a shortlist of three nominees. Omitted only for 1981, the advance shortlist has numbered three to six; from 1997, always five.

Winners and nominees[edit]


Year Author Title
1936 Bertram Brooker Think of the Earth
1937 Laura Salverson The Dark Weaver
1938 Gwethalyn Graham Swiss Sonata
1939 Franklin D. McDowell The Champlain Road


Year Author Title
1940 Ringuet Thirty Acres
1941 Alan Sullivan Three Came to Ville Marie
1942 G. Herbert Sallans Little Man
1943 Thomas H. Raddall The Pied Piper of Dipper Creek
1944 Gwethalyn Graham Earth and High Heaven
1945 Hugh MacLennan Two Solitudes
1946 Winifred Bambrick Continental Revue
1947 Gabrielle Roy The Tin Flute
1948 Hugh MacLennan The Precipice
1949 Philip Child Mr. Ames Against Time


Year Author Title
1950 Germaine Guèvremont The Outlander
1951 Morley Callaghan The Loved and the Lost
1952 David Walker The Pillar
1953 David Walker Digby
1954 Igor Gouzenko The Fall of a Titan
1955 Lionel Shapiro The Sixth of June
1956 Adele Wiseman The Sacrifice
1957 Gabrielle Roy Street of Riches
1958 Colin McDougall Execution
1959 Hugh MacLennan The Watch That Ends the Night


Year Author Title
1960 Brian Moore The Luck of Ginger Coffey
1961 Malcolm Lowry Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place
1962 Kildare Dobbs Running to Paradise
1963 Hugh Garner Hugh Garner's Best Stories
1964 Douglas LePan The Deserter
1965 No award presented
1966 Margaret Laurence A Jest of God
1967 No award presented
1968 Alice Munro Dance of the Happy Shades
1969 Robert Kroetsch The Studhorse Man


Year Author Title
1970 Dave Godfrey The New Ancestors
1971 Mordecai Richler St. Urbain's Horseman
1972 Robertson Davies The Manticore
1973 Rudy Wiebe The Temptations of Big Bear
1974 Margaret Laurence The Diviners
1975 Brian Moore The Great Victorian Collection
1976 Marian Engel Bear
1977 Timothy Findley The Wars
1978 Alice Munro Who Do You Think You Are?
1979 Jack Hodgins The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne
Margaret Atwood Life Before Man
Matt Cohen The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone


Year Author Title
1980 George Bowering Burning Water
Susan Musgrave The Charcoal Burners
Leon Rooke Fat Woman
1981 Mavis Gallant Home Truths: Selected Canadian Stories
1982 Guy Vanderhaeghe Man Descending
Alice Munro The Moons of Jupiter
Chris Scott Antichthon
1983 Leon Rooke Shakespeare's Dog
Philip Kreiner People Like Us in a Place Like This
H. R. Percy Painted Ladies
Susan Swan The Biggest Modern Woman of the World
1984 Josef Skvorecky The Engineer of Human Souls
Timothy Findley Not Wanted on the Voyage
Susan Kerslake The Book of Fears
Audrey Thomas Intertidal Life
1985 Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale
Sharon Butala Queen of the Headaches
Keath Fraser Foreign Affairs
David Adams Richards Road to the Stilt House
1986 Alice Munro The Progress of Love
Lois Braun A Stone Watermelon
John Metcalf Adult Entertainment
Aritha van Herk No Fixed Address
1987 M. T. Kelly A Dream Like Mine
David Gurr The Ring Master
Rohinton Mistry Tales from Firozsha Baag
Michael Ondaatje In the Skin of a Lion
Carol Shields Swann: A Mystery
1988 David Adams Richards Nights Below Station Street
Margaret Atwood Cat's Eye
Joan Clark The Victory of Geraldine Gull
Mark Frutkin Atmospheres Apollinaire
Kenneth Radu The Cost of Living
1989 Paul Quarrington Whale Music
Ann Copeland The Golden Thread
Helen Weinzweig A View from the Roof


Year Author Title
1990 Nino Ricci Lives of the Saints
Sky Lee Disappearing Moon Café
Alice Munro Friend of My Youth
Leslie Hall Pinder On Double Tracks
Diane Schoemperlen Man of My Dreams
1991 Rohinton Mistry Such a Long Journey
Margaret Atwood Wilderness Tips
Don Dickinson Blue Husbands
Douglas Glover A Guide to Animal Behaviour
Terry Griggs Quickening
1992 Michael Ondaatje The English Patient
Sandra Birdsell The Chrome Suite
Archie Crail The Bonus Deal
John Steffler The Afterlife of George Cartwright
Sheila Watson Deep Hollow Creek
1993 Carol Shields The Stone Diaries
Caroline Adderson Bad Imaginings
Thomas King Green Grass, Running Water
David Adams Richards For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down
Carol Windley Visible Light
1994 Rudy Wiebe A Discovery of Strangers
Margaret Atwood The Robber Bride
Donna McFarlane Division of Surgery
Alice Munro Open Secrets
Russell Smith How Insensitive
1995 Greg Hollingshead The Roaring Girl
Diana Atkinson Highways and Dancehalls
Barbara Gowdy Mister Sandman
Julie Keith The Jaguar Temple
Richard B. Wright The Age of Longing
1996 Guy Vanderhaeghe The Englishman's Boy
Margaret Atwood Alias Grace
Elisabeth Harvor Let Me Be the One
Janice Kulyk Keefer The Green Library
Cordelia Strube Teaching Pigs to Sing
Audrey Thomas Coming Down from Wa
1997 Jane Urquhart The Underpainter
Sandra Birdsell The Two-Headed Calf
Matt Cohen Last Seen
Elizabeth Hay Small Change
Eric McCormack First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women
1998 Diane Schoemperlen Forms of Devotion
Lynn Coady Strange Heaven
Barbara Gowdy The White Bone
Wayne Johnston The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Kerri Sakamoto The Electrical Field
1999 Matt Cohen Elizabeth and After
Neil Bissoondath The Worlds Within Her
Anne Fleming Pool-hopping and Other Stories
Elyse Gasco Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby?
Keith Maillard Gloria


Year Author Title
2000 Michael Ondaatje Anil's Ghost
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin
Austin Clarke The Question
David Adams Richards Mercy Among the Children
Eden Robinson Monkey Beach
2001 Richard B. Wright Clara Callan
Yann Martel Life of Pi
Tessa McWatt Dragons Cry
Jane Urquhart The Stone Carvers
Thomas Wharton Salamander
2002 Gloria Sawai A Song for Nettie Johnson
David Bergen The Case of Lena S.
Ann Ireland Exile
Wayne Johnston The Navigator of New York
Carol Shields Unless
2003 Douglas Glover Elle
Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake
Elizabeth Hay Garbo Laughs
Jean McNeil Private View
Edeet Ravel Ten Thousand Lovers
2004 Miriam Toews A Complicated Kindness
David Bezmozgis Natasha and Other Stories
Trevor Cole Norman Bray, In the Performance of His Life
Colin McAdam Some Great Thing
Alice Munro Runaway
2005 David Gilmour A Perfect Night to Go to China
Joseph Boyden Three Day Road
Golda Fried Nellcott Is My Darling
Charlotte Gill Ladykiller
Kathy Page Alphabet
2006 Peter Behrens The Law of Dreams
Trevor Cole The Fearsome Particles
Bill Gaston Gargoyles
Paul Glennon The Dodecahedron, or A Frame for Frames
Rawi Hage De Niro's Game
2007 Michael Ondaatje Divisadero
David Chariandy Soucouyant
Barbara Gowdy Helpless
Heather O'Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals
M. G. Vassanji The Assassin's Song
2008 Nino Ricci The Origin of Species
Rivka Galchen Atmospheric Disturbances
Rawi Hage Cockroach
David Adams Richards The Lost Highway
Fred Stenson The Great Karoo
2009 Kate Pullinger The Mistress of Nothing
Michael Crummey Galore
Annabel Lyon The Golden Mean
Alice Munro Too Much Happiness
Deborah Willis Vanishing and Other Stories


Year Author Title
2010 Dianne Warren Cool Water
Sandra Birdsell Waiting for Joe
Emma Donoghue Room
Drew Hayden Taylor Motorcycles & Sweetgrass
Kathleen Winter Annabel
2011 Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers
David Bezmozgis The Free World
Esi Edugyan Half-Blood Blues
Marina Endicott The Little Shadow
Alexi Zentner Touch
2012 Linda Spalding The Purchase
Tamas Dobozy Siege 13
Robert Hough Dr. Brinkley's Tower
Vincent Lam The Headmaster's Wager
Carrie Snyder The Juliet Stories
2013[3] Eleanor Catton[4] The Luminaries[4]
Kenneth Bonert The Lion Seeker
Joseph Boyden The Orenda
Colin McAdam A Beautiful Truth
Shyam Selvadurai The Hungry Ghosts
2014[5] Thomas King The Back of the Turtle
Michael Crummey Sweetland
Bill Gaston Juliet Was a Surprise
Claire Holden Rothman My October
Joan Thomas The Opening Sky
2015 Guy Vanderhaeghe Daddy Lenin and Other Stories
Kate Cayley How You Were Born
Rachel Cusk Outline
Helen Humphreys The Evening Chorus
Clifford Jackman The Winter Family
2016 Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Gary Barwin Yiddish for Pirates
Anosh Irani The Parcel
Kerry Lee Powell Willem de Kooning's Paintbrush
Katherena Vermette The Break
2017 Joel Thomas Hynes We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night
Michael Kaan The Water Beetles
Alison MacLeod All the Beloved Ghosts
Jocelyn Parr Uncertain Weights and Measures
Kathleen Winter Lost in September
2018 Sarah Henstra The Red Word
Paige Cooper Zolitude
Rawi Hage Beirut Hellfire Society
Miriam Toews Women Talking
Joshua Whitehead Jonny Appleseed
2019 Joan Thomas Five Wives
Michael Crummey The Innocents
Cary Fagan The Student
Marianne Micros Eye
K. D. Miller Late Breaking


External links[edit]