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Thomas King

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Thomas King's 2014 is ending in much the same way as it began: with a major literary award.

In February, King won the British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. On Tuesday, he won the Governor-General's Literary Award for Fiction for The Back of the Turtle, his first novel in 15 years.

"I'm 71, and I figured by now nothing much would surprise me, but this does," said King, who also captured the RBC Taylor Prize for The Inconvenient Indian in March. "I've had success with my books selling – that's not been a problem – but in terms of the kinds of accolades these prizes bring, this has been a very fertile period."

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King had twice previously been a finalist: A Coyote Columbus Story was nominated in the children's literature category in 1992, while his novel Green Grass, Running Water was nominated for the fiction prize the following year. "The third time appears to be the charm. I'll have to get to work on the other prizes."

The French-language fiction prize was awarded to Andrée A. Michaud for her novel Bondrée.

The non-fiction prize went to journalist and essayist Michael Harris for first book, The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection, while activist and author Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois took home the French-language prize for Tenir tête.

Arleen Paré was awarded the poetry prize for Lake of Two Mountains, her third book, while the French-language prize went to José Acquelin for Anarchie de la lumière.

The prize for children's literature (illustration) went to Jillian Tamaki for This One Summer, which was written by her cousin Mariko Tamaki, while the prize for children's literature (text) went to Raziel Reid for his YA novel When Everything Feels Like the Movies. The French-language prize for text was awarded to Linda Amyot for Le jardin d'Amsterdam while the illustration award went to Marianne Dubuc for Le lion et l'oiseau, which she also wrote.

The award for drama went to Jordan Tannahill for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays. Carole Fréchette was awarded the French-language prize for her play Small Talk.

The prize for French-to-English translation was awarded to Peter Feldstein for Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography, written by François-Marc Gagnon. The English-to-French prize went to Daniel Poliquin for L'Indien malcommode: un portrait inattendu des Autochtones d'Amérique du Nord, the translation, coincidentally, of King's The Inconvenient Indian.

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