The finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction

The 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be awarded to books in seven English-language categories, each featuring five finalists. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.
The winners of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious prizes. The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fiction, nonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustrationdrama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

Each winner receives $25,000. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Zolitude by Paige Cooper

Zolitude is Paige Cooper's debut short story collection. (Adam Michaels/Biblioasis)

Mixing the contemporary with the surreal, Paige Cooper ties her debut collection of short fiction together with the overarching theme of love. Zolitude tells stories of Russian spies, monstrous creatures and nine-year-old girls who build time machines. Originally from the Rocky Mountains, Cooper now lives in Montreal and has been published in literary magazines like the Fiddlehead and Briar Patch. 

Beirut Hellfire Society by Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage is the author of Beirut Hellfire Society. (Babak Salari/Knopf Canada)

Rawi Hage's novel follows a young man named Pavlov as he takes his deceased father's place in a mysterious group known as the Hellfire Society. Part of their mission is to arrange secret burials for the outcasts of Lebanon — those denied burial because they were gay, atheist or otherwise abandoned. Hage has twice been shortlisted for the Giller Prize — in 2008 for Cockroach and in 2006 for De Niro's Game, the latter of which received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Beirut Hellfire Society is also shortlisted for the 2018 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

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The Red Word by Sarah Henstra

The Red Word is Sarah Henstra's first work of adult fiction. (Grove Press, ECW Press)

In Sarah Henstra's novel The Red Word, a group of feminists at an American university plot to bring down a notorious fraternity after Karen, a college sophomore, wakes up one night on the fraternity's front lawn. As part of an elaborate plan for payback, Karen finds herself immersed in fraternity party culture while becoming further integrated into a feminist activist group of women. The Red Word examines consent, rape culture and politics as they play out on a mid-1990s college campus. 

Women Talking by Miriam Toews​​​

Women Talking is Miriam Toews's latest novel. (Carol Loewen, Knopf Canada)

In Miriam Toews's powerful new novel, eight Mennonite women come together to talk. Why? They have 48 hours to make a decision that will impact every woman and child in their community. Women Talking is inspired by the real-life case in the 2000s, when women in a Bolivian Mennonite community began whispering that they were waking up groggy, in pain, feeling like they had been sexually molested.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Jonny Appleseed is a novel by Joshua Whitehead. (sweetmoon photography, Arsenal Pulp Press)

The titular character of the novel Jonny Appleseed is a self-styled "NDN glitter princess" who works as a cybersex worker in the city. Preparing to head home for his stepfather's funeral, Jonny reflects on his decision to leave his reserve and the life he's led since. Jonny Appleseed is the Peguis First Nation writer's first novel, but he's also the author of the experimental poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer.