The Literati: The Season of Hage
Every Tuesday afternoon, Torontoist rounds up the city’s literary news, including book deals, events, local sales, author happenings, and insider information from the book industry.
Big national awards news today as the finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced at Ben McNally Books this morning. No real surprises (or excitement, really) as writers Nino Ricci and Rawi Hage predictably found themselves on the fiction list, along with David Adams Richards, Fred Stenson, and (the apparently just Canadian enough New Yorker) Rivka Galchen. Hage (pictured at left) is having a pretty strong season with his novel Cockroach, which two weeks ago was shortlisted for the Giller prize and last week was on the list for Quebec’s Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Other notable GG nominees announced this morning include Mariko Tamaki‘s beloved graphic novel Skim in the Children’s Literature category and emerging young talent-to-watch Jacob Sheier for his shining first poetry collection More To Keep Us Warm. The GG winners will be announced November 18.
In other literary award news, there was a bit of a shocker last Friday night when Glen Downie snagged the Toronto Book Award for his sleeper poetry collection Loyalty Management. Not only was the good money on novels by Barbara Gowdy or David Chariandy for the win, it’s the first time in close to ten years a collection of poetry has grabbed the honour.
Looking for something to do this week? Torontoist’s literary event advice is to head down to the Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen Street West) Wednesday night for the frightful launch of Taddle Creek’s “fiendishly good” Halloween issue. Beginning at 8 p.m. there will be readings by Tony Burgess, Zoe Whittall, and Joey Comeau, along with music by The Weirdies. The good folks at Taddle Creek also let us know that “there will also be candy and perhaps an apple-bobbing contest. Costumes are optional, but strongly encouraged. Prizes are a possibility. Stay until midnight if you dare!”
Finally, don’t forget that the International Festival of Authors kicks off at Harbourfront tomorrow. For full details of author appearances and ticket information check their website.
Photo of Rawi Hage courtesy of Anansi.