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GG Literary Award winners 'stunned,' 'overwhelmed'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2010 (2895 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MONTREAL -- Regina's Dianne Warren said she was stunned to win the Governor General's fiction prize Tuesday for her debut novel Cool Water, adding that literary awards have become a "hugely important" part of getting books to readers.

The jury described the book as an "exquisitely constructed" novel about a small Saskatchewan town.

Warren, 50, is the author of several plays and short-story collections. Her play Serpent in the Night Sky was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award for Drama in 1992. In 2004 she won the Marian Engel Award for a female writer in mid-career.

Cool Water was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2010 (2895 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MONTREAL — Regina's Dianne Warren said she was stunned to win the Governor General's fiction prize Tuesday for her debut novel Cool Water, adding that literary awards have become a "hugely important" part of getting books to readers.

The jury described the book as an "exquisitely constructed" novel about a small Saskatchewan town.

Allan Casey after his yesterday in Montreal.

GRAHAM HUGHES / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Allan Casey after his yesterday in Montreal.

Warren, 50, is the author of several plays and short-story collections. Her play Serpent in the Night Sky was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award for Drama in 1992. In 2004 she won the Marian Engel Award for a female writer in mid-career.

Cool Water was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

"It's exciting," Warren said of her win, acknowledging she was among a strong group of nominees. "I'm actually quite stunned I'm the lucky one."

"The book market is so competitive and I think that the buyers have gotten used to the awards stickers and they look for them in book stores. I think it's extremely important," Warren said.

In its praise for the book, the Governor General's fiction jury said Warren "makes each moment shine" and that "her narrative flows seamlessly from character to character, all stunningly depicted."

Dianne Warren

GRAHAM HUGHES / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Dianne Warren

Kathleen Winter's Annabel had also been in the running for the Governor General's fiction prize.

The tale of a hermaphrodite growing up in Newfoundland, Winter's book was the only title to be nominated for all three major Canadian literary prizes this fall. But it failed to win any of them.

Allan Casey, a journalist from Saskatoon, won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction for Lakeland: Journeys into the Soul of Canada, an ode to the country's freshwater systems.

"Foolishly I tackled the second-largest country in the world and a sprawling topic, both literally and figuratively," he said. "It took parts of five years to work on it. It was kind of foolishly ambitious but nice to have done."

He said he was "overwhelmed" by his win, describing it as "delightful."

"I'm speechless," he said. "It's pretty tough to get a writer in that position."

The Governor General's award for poetry, meanwhile, was won by Richard Greene of Cobourg, Ont., for Boxing the Compass.

Newfoundlander Robert Chafe picked up the drama prize for Afterimage.

"This year's recipients are excellent representatives of the talent and immense creativity of Canadian writers, illustrators and translators," Gov. Gen David Johnston said in a statement.

"I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to these artists, people who — through their passion — ignite our love of reading with every new book."

Johnston will present the awards on Nov. 25 during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

A total of 70 books were finalists for the Governor General's awards, which are funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Each winner receives $25,000 and a special leather-bound copy of his or her book.

The publisher of each winning book gets $3,000 to support promotional activities, while non-winning finalists will each receive $1,000.

The finalists in each category are chosen by peer assessment committees appointed by the Canada Council.

 

— The Canadian Press

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