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Guy Vanderhaeghe previously won the prize in 1982 for his debut collection of stories, Man Descending, and in 1996 for his novel The Englishman’s Boy. (Matt Smith)
Guy Vanderhaeghe previously won the prize in 1982 for his debut collection of stories, Man Descending, and in 1996 for his novel The Englishman’s Boy. (Matt Smith)

Guy Vanderhaeghe wins third Governor-General’s Literary Award Add to ...

Since the first-ever Governor-General’s Literary Award was handed out in 1936, only three writers have won the prize for English-language fiction three times: Hugh MacLennan, Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje.

On Wednesday, Guy Vanderhaeghe became the fourth member of the illustrious club when it was announced that his short-fiction collection, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, is the winner of this year’s prize.

The jury praised the book as “the work of an assured writer who needs no pyrotechnics to keep us reading. Each story is superbly crafted, razor-sharp, wickedly funny.” The 64-year-old Vanderhaeghe, who lives in Saskatoon, previously won the prize in 1982 for his debut collection of stories, Man Descending, and in 1996 for his novel The Englishman’s Boy.

The other 2015 finalists were Helen Humphreys for her novel The Evening Chorus; Clifford Jackman for his debut novel The Winter Family; Kate Cayley for her story collection How You Were Born; and Rachel Cusk for her novel Outline, which is also nominated for next month’s Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Mark L. Winston, a professor in the department of biological sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, was awarded the non-fiction English-language prize for Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, which the jury called “compelling” and “a powerful and lyrical meditation on humanity.”

In children’s literature JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith won the illustrated-books category for their “simple and complex, wistful and big-hearted” wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, while the text category went to Caroline Pignat’s “powerful and poignant” The Gospel Truth.

Montreal’s Robyn Sarah received the award for English-language poetry for My Shoes Are Killing Me, which the jury praised as “a transformative work that continuously surprises the reader,” while Toronto playwright David Yee won the English-language drama prize for carried away on the crest of a wave, which the jury called “a play to make the stars sing.”

Finally, the award for French-to-English translation went to Rhonda Mullins, previously a three-time finalist for the prize, for her work on Jocelyne Saucier’s novel Twenty-One Cardinals.

The winners of each award receive $25,000, while their respective publishers receive $3,000 for promotional purposes.

For winners of the French-language awards, see ggbooks.ca.

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