A trio of Guelph authors are among the finalists for the 2020 Governor General Literary Awards.
The 2020 awards were delayed by COVID and will be announced this spring. The 2021 awards will be announced in the fall, says a news release.
Madhur Anand is nominated in the non-fiction category for This Red Line Goes Straight To Your Heart: A Memoir of Halves, Eric Walters is nominated in the young people’s literature – text category for The King of Jam Sandwiches and Thomas King is nominated in the fiction category for Indians on Vacation.
The awards, one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards, offer a total of $450,000 in prizes.
A total of 70 books across 14 categories are nominated.
Madhur Anand, This Red Line Goes Straight To Your Heart: A Memoir in Halves: an experimental memoir about immigration and generational storytelling. With partition and divide being a major theme in the book, the book physically embodies this divide by flipping over to read a different half of the story. The first half of the book alternates between the author’s mother and father’s point of view and story, while the second half belongs to the author and his story, told in first-person. Anand is a first-time finalist for this award; she is also a poet and ecologist, and a professor at the University of Guelph in the School of Environmental Sciences. More recently, she has been featured in the news for focusing her work and studies on how to limit classroom spread of COVID-19.
Eric Walters, The King of Jam Sandwiches: The book follows a teenage boy who lives with his dad, who is a bit peculiar; sometimes he wakes his son up in the middle of the night to talk about dying, and sometimes he just leaves without telling his son where he’s going and when he will be coming back. Everything changes when the boy meets the new girl in school, and realizes they have a lot more in common than he thought. The funny, pull-at-your-heartstrings book is loosely based on Walters’ early life, growing up in poverty. He is a prolific writer, with over 100 kids books published. Bestowed the Order of Canada in 2005, Walters is a first-time GGBooks finalist.
Thomas King, Indians on Vacation: a book about an Indigenous couple who embark on a European journey to trace a long-lost relative, inspired by a handful of postcards from nearly a century prior. The book is a finalist for the Writers Trust Fiction Prize, and has been longlisted for the Giller Prize. King is an established writer of fiction and poetry, having previously won a GGBooks prize back in 2014 for his novel The Back of the Turtle.