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Madeleine Thien among finalists for Governor General's Literary Award

The cover of "Do Not Say We Have Nothing" by Madeleine Thien is seen in this undated handout photo. Thien is a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
October 04, 2016 - 5:26 AM

TORONTO - The accolades continue to pour in for Madeleine Thien, whose latest novel is now in the running for a third major book prize: the Governor General's Literary Award.

The Vancouver-born, Montreal-based author was announced Tuesday as one of the five finalists in the fiction category for "Do Not Say We Have Nothing" (Knopf Canada).

Set in China before, during and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Thien's novel has emerged as one of the most celebrated titles this season.

"Do Not Say We Have Nothing" has also made the short list for both the prestigious 50,000 pound (C$85,000) Man Booker Prize and the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Fellow Giller contender Gary Barwin of Hamilton was also named among the Governor General's Literary Award fiction contenders for his novel "Yiddish for Pirates" (Random House Canada).

A trio of authors also in contention for the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize round out the list of finalists: Montreal-born, Moncton, N.B.-based author Kerry Lee Powell for her short story collection "Willem De Kooning's Paintbrush" (Harper Avenue, an imprint of HarperCollins); Winnipeg's Katherena Vermette for "The Break "(House of Anansi Press); and Vancouver novelist Anosh Irani for "The Parcel" (Knopf Canada).

The Governor General's Literary Award non-fiction finalists are:

— Toronto's Kamal Al-Solaylee for "Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (To Everyone)" (HarperCollins)

— Toronto's Teva Harrison for "In-Between Days: A Memoir About Living with Cancer" (House of Anansi Press)

— Harold R. Johnson of La Ronge, Sask., for "Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours)" (University of Regina Press)

— Montreal's Marc Raboy for "Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World" (Oxford University Press)

— Saskatoon's Bill Waiser for "A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905" (Fifth House Publishers.)

Finalists in the translation (French to English) category are: Lazer Lederhendler for Giller-nominated "The Party Wall" (Biblioasis), Rhonda Mullins for "Guano" (Coach House Books) and Neil Smith for "The Goddess of Fireflies" (Vehicule Press).

Commemorating its 80th anniversary, the Governor General's Literary Awards hands out nearly $450,000 in prizes to the authors of English and French works.

The Canada Council for the Arts administers the awards, which will also be handed out in the categories of poetry, drama and young people's literature.

Each winner, chosen by peer assessment committees, receives $25,000. The other finalists are each awarded $1,000.

The winners will be announced on Oct. 25. The awards will be presented by Gov Gen. David Johnston in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Nov. 30.

— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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