Books

The finalists for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for translation

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year.

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year

The 2022 Governor General's Literary Awards for French-to-English translation finalists. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. 

The prizes, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are awarded in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustrationdrama and French-to-English translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories. 

The Canada Council for the Arts is a partner of the CBC Literary Prizes. The 2023 CBC Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions.

Each winner will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on Nov. 16, 2022.

The French-to-English translation category was assessed by Anita Anand, Chantal Bilodeau and Steven Urquhart.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Get to know the translation finalists below.

History of the Jews in Quebec by Pierre Anctil, translated by Judith Weisz Woodsworth

History of the Jews in Quebec is a book by Pierre Anctil, not pictured, and translated by Judith Weisz Woodsworth, pictured. (Egan Dufour, University of Ottawa Press)

This nonfiction work is a historical look at the presence of Jews in Quebec dating back four centuries. History of the Jews in Quebec examines how Jewish communities in Montreal and throughout Quebec have grown and evolved due to global migration — and highlights the contributions and achievements made by Jewish people in the region. 

Pierre Anctil is a Canadian author and history professor at the University of Ottawa. His work focuses on the history of Montreal's Jewish community and on the current debates on cultural pluralism in Canada. His work includes Jacob Isaac Segal: A Montreal Yiddish Poet and His Milieu and A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People.

Judith Weisz Woodsworth is a Canadian translator and professor at Concordia University. She has published widely on the history and theory of translation and has translated novels by Quebec authors Pierre Nepveu and Abla Farhoud.

Remnants by Céline Huyghebaert, translated by Aleshia Jensen

Remnants is a book by Céline Huyghebaert, middle, and translated by Aleshia Jensen, left. (Book*Hug Press, Justine Latour, Justine Latour)

Remnants is an exploration of family relationships and perception. Filled with questionnaires, photographs, dream documentation and dialogue, author Céline Huyghebaert reveals a father-daughter relationship shaped by silence and missed opportunities. 

The French edition of Remnants won the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for French-language fiction.

Céline Huyghebaert is a French-born Canadian writer and artist. She was awarded the Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art in 2019. Huyghebaert lives in Montreal. 

Translator Aleshia Jensen received two nominations in the French-to-English translation category. She's nominated for her translations of the novel Remnants and her translation of the graphic novel This is How I Disappear, which she co-translated with Bronwyn Haslam. Jensen lives in Montreal. 

They Called Us Savages by Dominique Rankin and Marie-Josée Tardif, translated by Ben Vrignon

They Called Us Savages is a book by Dominique Rankin and Marie-Josée Tardif, translated by Ben Vrignon. (Vidacom)

This memoir is an account of Chief Dominique Rankin's journey to becoming the leader he is today. The Canadian government's policies of Indigenous assimilation saw Rankin separated from his family and sent to the Saint-Marc-de-Figuery residential school in Quebec. At the school, he suffered abuse, a fate he shared with thousands of Indigenous children across North America. After leaving the school, Rankin embarked on a journey of healing and self-discovery. The residential school survivor, elder, medicine man, and former Grand Chief of the Algonquin Nation examines his life and looks forward to a better future.

Dominique Rankin is an Algonquin and a residential school survivor from La Conception, Que. Rankin was chosen when he was seven years old to succeed his father as chief and medicine man. He comes from Abitibi and was once Grand Chief of the Algonquin Nation. In 2018 he was named to the Order of Canada. 

Marie-Josée Tardif is an author, journalist and broadcaster. She is an Elder from the Anicinape (Algonquin) tradition. Her books include The Sitar Lesson or the Art of Vibrating with all its Strings.

This is How I Disappear by Mirion Malle, translated by Aleshia Jensen & Bronwyn Haslam

This is How I Disappear is a comic by Mirion Malle, translated by Aleshia Jensen & Bronwyn Haslam. (Mirion Malle, Drawn & Quarterly)

This is How I Disappear offers a glimpse into the ways millennials cope with mental health struggles. Clara's at a breaking point. She's got writer's block, her friends ask a lot without giving much, her psychologist is useless and she is burned out from work. The book is a portrait of a young woman wrestling with psychological stress and the trauma following sexual assault.

Mirion Malle is a French cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Montreal. She has published three books. Her book The League of Super Feminists was also translated into English and was nominated for the 2020 Prix Jeunesse at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Translator Aleshia Jensen received two nominations in the French-to-English translation category. She's nominated for her translations of the novel Remnants and her translation of the graphic novel This is How I Disappear, which she co-translated with Bronwyn Haslam.

White Resin by Audrée Wilhelmy, translated by Susan Ouriou

White Resin is a book by Audrée Wilhelmy, translated by Susan Ouriou. (House of Anansi Press)

White Resin is a novel about love, romance and a story of creation. A young girl named Dãa lives in a Quebec convent. When a woman dies in childbirth to a boy with albinism, a dream-like story unfolds with magic realism elements to document how nature interacts with the industrial world. 

Audrée Wilhelmy is a Montreal author. Her work includes the 2019 novel The Body of the Beasts. She is the winner of France's Sade Award, has been a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the Prix France-Québec and the Quebec Booksellers Award.

Susan Ouriou is a writer, editor and literary translator from Calgary. She has previously won the Governor General's Literary Award for translation for her work.

Corrections

  • This post has been updated to reflect the correct gender for one of the characters in the book White Resin by Audrée Wilhelmy, translated by Susan Ouriou.
    Oct 25, 2022 4:52 PM ET

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