Thursday, November 3, 2011 |
The Governor General's Literary Awards turn 75 this year.
The awards were the first to honour excellence in Canadian writing and were initiated by our 15th Governor General, Lord Tweedsmuir. He was the Scottish politician and author, a.k.a. John Buchan, who wrote the celebrated spy novel The Thirty-Nine Steps. Since their inception, the awards have grown to include the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children's Literature (text and illustration) and Translation, in both English and French.
The list of GGLA winners includes Canadian writers who are now recognized as global literary superstars: Farley Mowat, Stephen Leacock, Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, Gabrielle Roy, Daniel McIvor, Pierre Berton, Michael Ondaatje and Rohinton Mistry, to name just a few. Their work reflects the depth and richness of Canadian literature.
CBC Books has partnered with the Canada Council for the Arts to produce a series of videos to celebrate this landmark anniversary. We asked a number of high-profile Canadians to tell us about their favourite Governor General's Award-winning book.
Today's video comes from actress Sitara Hewitt.
Sitara Hewitt is a Canadian actress of Pakistani and Welsh ancestry who is now based in Los Angeles. She stars as Rayyan in CBC TV's international hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie, and has also appeared in feature films such as Deepa Mehta's Hollywood/Bollywood.
Her favourite Governor General's Award-winning book is Rohinton Mistry's Such a Long Journey, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction in 1991.