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Kathleen Winter, Carol Off among finalists for Governor-General’s Literary Awards

Kathleen Winter.

Roger LeMoyne

The finalists for the Governor-General's Literary Awards, which celebrate the best in English- and French-language writing in categories ranging from poetry to children's literature, were announced on Wednesday.

The winners, who each receive $25,000, will be revealed on Nov. 1.

Fredericton publisher Goose Lane Editions scored two nominations in the category of English-language fiction: Michael Kaan was recognized for his debut novel, The Water Beetles, which focuses on a family living through the invasion and occupation of Hong Kong by Japan during the Second World War, while Jocelyn Parr was nominated for her novel Uncertain Weights and Measures, which tells the story of a scientist and an artist who fall in love in 1920s Moscow.

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A trio of novels round out the list of nominees: All the Beloved Ghosts by Alison MacLeod; Lost in September by Kathleen Winter; and We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes, which was also longlisted for this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize.

In the category of English-language non-fiction, the finalists are Elaine Dewar for The Handover: How Bigwigs and Bureaucrats Transferred Canada's Best Publisher and the Best Part of our Literary Heritage to a Foreign Multinational; Graeme Wood for The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State; Sharon Butala for Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope; Sarah de Leeuw for Where It Hurts; and Carol Off, who is also a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, for All We Leave Behind: A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others.

The finalists for English-language poetry are Julia McCarthy for All the Names Between; Richard Harrison for On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood; Nora Gould for Selah; Benjamin Hertwig for Slow War; and Lorna Crozier for What the Soul Doesn't Want.

In the category for English-language drama the nominees are Michael Healey for 1979; Hiro Kanagawa for Indian Arm; Robert Chafe for The Colony of Unrequited Dreams; Kate Hennig for The Virgin Trial; and Anna Chatterton for Within the Glass.

There are two categories devoted to young people's literature – one for text and one for illustration. In the former, the finalists are Danielle Younge-Ullman for Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined; Alison Hughes for Hit the Ground Running; Cherie Dimaline for The Marrow Thieves; Allan Stratton for The Way Back Home; and Aviaq Johnston for Those Who Run in the Sky. In the latter, the finalists are Marie-Louise Gay for Short Stories for Little Monsters; Jan Thornhill for The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk; Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith for Town Is by the Sea; Paul Harbridge and Matt James for When the Moon Comes; and David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett for When We Were Alone.

Finally, in the category of French-to-English translation, the nominees are Katia Grubisic for Brothers, written by David Clerson; W. Donald Wilson for In Search of New Babylon, written by Dominique Scali; Oana Avasilichioaei for Readopolis, written by Bertrand Laverdure; Howard Scott for Social Myths and Collective Imaginaries, written by Gérard Bouchard; and Pablo Strauss for The Longest Year, written by Daniel Grenier.

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About the Author
Books Editor

Mark Medley is the Globe and Mail’s Books Editor. Prior to joining the paper he spent more than seven years at the National Post, where he served as an arts reporter and books editor. More

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