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Montreal's Behrens snares Governor-General's fiction prize

Montreal's Peter Behrens has won the English-language 2006 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction for his tale of a young man's journey to Canada after years of near starvation during the Irish potato famine.

"Year after year, our authors enrich and renew our cultural heritage and it is my pleasure to invite all Canadians to celebrate the winners of the Governor General's literary awards. I salute and warmly congratulate them," Governor-General Michaëlle Jean, who is currently on a tour of Africa, said in a statement Tuesday.

The Canada Council for the Arts announced Mr. Behrens' novel The Law of Dreams amongst the 2006 winners at simultaneous press conferences in Montreal and Toronto Tuesday.

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The $15,000 literary awards are given in both English and in French categories for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (text and illustration) and translation.

Quebec City's Andree Laberge claimed the French language fiction award for her novel, La riviere du loup, a father-son tale that the council described as "enchantingly written."

This year marks the 70th presentation of the awards, Canada's oldest and most prestigious award for English- and French-language Canadian literature.

Drama:

English: Daniel MacIvor, Halifax, I Still Love You

French: Evelyne de la Cheneliere, Montreal, Desordre public

Non-fiction:

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English: Ross King, Woodstock, Oxon, U.K. (formerly of Saskatchewan), The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism

French: Pierre Ouellet, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., A force de voir: histoire de regards

Children's Literature - Text

English: William Gilkerson, Mahone Bay, N.S., Pirate's Passage, illustrated by the author

French: Dany Laferriere, Montreal, Je suis fou de Vava, illustrations by Frederic Normandin

Children's Literature - Illustration

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English: Leo Yerxa, Ottawa, Ancient Thunder, text by Leo Yerxa

French: Roge (Roger Girard), Montreal, Le gros monstre qui aimait trop lire, text by Lili Chartrand

Translation

Hugh Hazelton, Montreal, Vetiver, English translation of Vetiver, by Joel Des Rosiers

Sophie Voillot, Montreal, Un jardin de papier, French translation of Salamander by Thomas Wharton

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