Edugyan, deWitt up for another literary prize
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:45PM EDT
TORONTO - Canadian authors Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt continued their astonishing fall book prize season on Tuesday as both were shortlisted for a $25,000 Governor General's fiction award.
In recent weeks, the two authors have also been named finalists for Britain's Man Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Victoria-based Edugyan is being feted for "Half-Blood Blues" (Thomas Allen Publishers), about black jazz musicians trying to survive in Europe during the Second World War.
DeWitt, a Vancouver Island native who now lives in Portland, Ore., is receiving kudos for "The Sisters Brothers" (House of Anansi Press), a comical western set amid the 1850s California gold rush.
Toronto author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis is also a Governor General's Literary Award finalist for his immigrant tale "The Free World" (HarperCollins Publishers), which is also on the Giller short list.
Edmonton author Marina Endicott made the Governor General's Award cut for the vaudevillian tale "The Little Shadows" (Doubleday Canada).
And Kitchener, Ont., native Alexi Zentner is on the list with his first novel, "Touch" (Alfred A. Knopf Canada), a multi-generational family story.
Non-fiction nominees include Charles Foran for "Mordecai: The Life & Times" (Alfred A. Knopf Canada), which won the Charles Taylor Prize in February and is also up for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
Also up for both the Governor General's non-fiction award and the Hilary Weston non-fiction prize is Richard Gwyn's "Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867-1891" (Random House Canada).
Other nominees for the GG non-fiction award include Nathan M. Greenfield for "The Damned: The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45" (HarperCollins Publishers); J.J. Lee for "The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit" (McClelland & Stewart); and Andrew Nikiforuk for "Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests" (Greystone Books).
This is the 75th anniversary of the awards, which are administered by the Canada Council for the Arts and honour literature in seven categories, in both official languages.
This year's awards have a total of 68 finalists in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (text and illustration) and translation.
The Canada Council's peer assessment committees selected the nominees after reading, between them, a total of 1,684 eligible books submitted for this year's awards.
Winners will be announced Nov. 15 and the awards will be handed out Nov. 24 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Last year's fiction winner was Regina-based Dianne Warren for her debut novel "Cool Water."