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2019 Governor General's Literary Award Finalists

By kileyturner
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tagged: awards, GGbooks
These are the finalists for the (English-language) Governor General's Literary Awards. Missing is Catherine Hunter's St. Boniface Elegies, which is not in our database.
TREATY #

TREATY #

edition:Paperback

A treaty is a contract. A treaty is enduring. A treaty is an act of faith. A treaty at its best is justice. It is a document and an undertaking. It is connected to place, people and self. It is built on the past, but it also indicates how the future may unfold. Armand Garnet Ruffo's TREATY # is all of these. In this far-ranging work, Ruffo documents his observations on life &ndash and in the process, his own life &ndash as he sets out to restructure relationships and address obligations nation-t …

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1 Hour Photo

1 Hour Photo

edition:Paperback
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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for drama
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Thanks for Giving

Thanks for Giving

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for drama
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Other Side of the Game
Excerpt

Scene 6

 

It is 1970-something and we are back at the meeting being held by the Movement. Throughout the meeting Khalil glances at Beverly and exchanges a smile or two. Akilah notices and is visibly uncomfortable. Beverly is taking notes.

Khalil: What we need to do is start building a vision for the future.

Elder: What does that mean?

Khalil: We need to stop reacting and begin building.

Elder: Who invited the poet?

Akilah: Okay. Elder, what do you think we should do?

Elder: We should be focusing our efforts on lobbying.

Everyone groans.

We have to reform the system. We can’t spiral out of control, rioting and mashing up the place. We need to rein the people them back in.

Khalil: Why? There is a rise in Black militancy. Black people aren’t begging—

Elder: Black militancy? What are you trying to do? Build an army? Start shooting at the pigs?

Khalil: People have a right to be angry.

Elder: I’m not saying that they don’t but—

Akilah: My son is eight years old and I can see teachers trying to devalue his worth every day. I can see him confused and angry. Josiah has a right to be angry.

Elder: So what—you want to teach Josiah to riot?

Akilah: No. I am going to teach Josiah how to channel his anger, know the power of his voice. I want him to be able to stand up and defend himself when a teacher—

Elder: How touching. Listen, young lady, there is a distinct difference between holding up a placard at Christie Pits and organizing a community.

Akilah: My name is not young lady.

Elder: Oh lawd. Here we go. Okay. Okay, Akee-wah. Calm down.

Akilah: It’s Akilah.

Elder: Aren’t you supposed to be taking the minutes?

Silence.

Beverly: I think… if I may… I think that the problem is we don’t know how powerful we are.

Elder: Who are you? Who is she?

Beverly: I’m Beverly. Hi. I’m new. I just… I think that… I mean I’m not an expert but I don’t think that you can expect society to change if you’re not ready to take the first step.

Elder: The first step? My girl, I’ve taken the first, second, third and fourth steps! Do you know how long I’ve been doing this?

Beverly: I… I just think that if we’re building a real Black political movement then we have to make sure that…

Elder: That what?

Beverly: I don’t know… nothing. Sorry.

Akilah: Don’t apologize.

Beverly: What?

Akilah: Speak up.

Beverly: Well I just think that people have to start thinking about what resistance means on an individual level—like personally.

Khalil: I think I get what the sister is saying. So for example, one step someone might want to take is getting the white out of their hair.

Elder self-consciously touches his hair.

Beverly: That’s not exactly what I—

Khalil: A second step could be getting the white out of their mind.

Elder: Are you insinuating that—?

Akilah: Ahhh I think I know where you’re going with this, brother. Maybe a third step could be… for a few people in this meeting… getting the white woman out of their bedroom.

Elder and Khalil react at the same time.

Elder: Hol on! Hol on!

Khalil: Whoa!

Elder: Now we don’t have to start going into people’s private affairs—

Khalil: I don’t think that’s pertinent to the conversation—

Elder: I say we take another break.

Khalil: I agree. Yes, a break is good.

Akilah: Look at that. You’ve finally found something you both can agree on.

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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for drama
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Fighting Season, The
Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for drama
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What a Young Wife Ought to Know
Excerpt

Shift.

There’s a storm, the sound of rain.

Jonny and Sophie are kissing. Then as the sexuality escalates, Sophie disentangles herself, pushes Jonny gently away from her. Beat of them still, then:

Jonny: Where’s the baby?

Sophie: In his cot — I’m sorry, Jonny — 

Jonny: No, no?

Sophie: The doctor said . . . not to.

Jonny nods.

Beat.

Then, scuffing the floor:

Jonny: The floor’s turned to mud.

Beat.

It’ll give you pain?

Sophie nods.

It will?

Sophie: It might, but that’s not . . .

Jonny: For how long?

Sophie: I think the doctor meant a while.

Jonny: A month?

Beat.

A year?

Sophie: He told me I had insides quite exhausted and he dearly hoped I didn’t have any more children.

Beat.

He said I should not have more children, / Jonny, so . . .

Jonny: I — I — yes.

Beat. Jonny realizes.

No more?

Sophie: We have the two?

Jonny: No more . . . ? No more children . . . ? No more . . . ? No more?

Sophie: That’s what he said.

Jonny: Did you ask him . . . what that meant, how to . . . ?

Sophie: I said, “How do I prevent it?” He didn’t answer, only said it would weaken my health, and could . . . cost my life.

Jonny: He did?

Sophie: Yes, and a child would get no nourishment from my womb, he said.

Beat.

I’ll ask him again. I was nervous to . . . say what I wanted to: that it would be hard not to — to have no . . .

Beat.

I’m sorry, Jonny — ?

Jonny: No, no. We have the two.

Jonny nods to himself and gets up.

Sophie turns back to the audience.

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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for drama
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City of Omens

City of Omens

A Search for the Missing Women of the Borderlands
edition:Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for nonfiction
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Fryderyk Chopin

Fryderyk Chopin

A Life and Times
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
Governor General's Literary Awards finalist for nonfiction
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