Governor General's Literary Award, shortlist
If you've been paying attention at all, you probably noticed the shortlist out two days ago, here at the Canada Council website; fourteen categories, two languages, including:
Peter Behrens (Brooklin Maine, formerly of Montreal), The Law of Dreams
Trevor Cole (Hamilton ON), The Fearsome Particles
Bill Gaston (Victoria BC), Gargoyles
Paul Glennon (Ottawa ON), The Dodecahedron, or A Frame for Frames
Rawi Hage (Montreal QC), De Niro's Game
Ken Babstock (Toronto ON), Airstream Land Yacht
Elizabeth Bachinsky (Maple Ridge BC), Home of Sudden Service
Dionne Brand (Toronto ON), Inventory
John Pass (Madeira Park BC), Stumbling in the Bloom
Sharon Thesen (Lake Country BC), The Good Bacteria
The rest can be found here. The thing about lists such as these, everybody has an opinion, and everybody has a version of what their lists would have been (I won't offer what I would have put on or left off of my version; what are they missing? Tons). But predictions? I know Cole has been up for it before, which probably gives him an advantage of sorts, but I really hope it goes to Bill Gaston (what little I've read/heard is fantastic). Failing that, Paul Glennon, simply because it is a brilliant book (as is the Gaston, but there you go). I have no idea about the other fiction writers; but isn't this list a little more short fiction heavy than it usually is?
Poetry? John Pass has been up for it before, Elizabeth Bachinsky's book I really liked [although I preferred her first book; see my review of such here], but I think it should go to Sharon Thesen; this current book doesn’t do for me what her other work has, but she's more than earned it for everything else before. Is that a reasoning? I have no idea. And isn't this one of the few poetry lists over the past bunch of years that doesn’t include a title or two or three from Brick Books? What happened there? Is Anansi slowly taking over the shortlist?
The winners read in Ottawa on December 14th (unfortunately, the same day of the launch of our fourth Chaudiere Books title).
But still. I've been too busy focusing on pho lately (Vietnamese soup). Phocusing on pho, in that little place across the street from my apartment. Do you know it?