The GG Project

In July 2010 I set out to read all the past winners of the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction. At the time there had been 71 winners, now there are 73.

Why did I do this? No good reason. I like Canadian literature, and this was a good way to have a long list of new authors to read. Basically. Also I enjoy torturing myself.

This endeavor got me an invite to be on CBC radio's The Next Chapter: LISTEN HERE

It also got me an invite to the 75th anniversary party for the awards at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. But I couldn't go.

Friends have referred to The GG Project as "the Canadian Book Club of One".

I completed the project in May 2013, reading all but one:

1936: Bertram Brooker, Think of the Earth 
1938: Gwethalyn Graham, Swiss Sonata
1939: Franklin D. McDowell, The Champlain Road
1940: Ringuet, Thirty Acres
1941: Alan Sullivan, Three Came to Ville Marie
1942: G. Herbert Sallans, Little Man
1943: Thomas H. Raddall, The Pied Piper of Dipper Creek
1944: Gwethalyn Graham, Earth and High Heaven
1945: Hugh MacLennan, Two Solitudes
1946: Winifred Bambrick, Continental Revue
1947: Gabrielle Roy, The Tin Flute
1948: Hugh MacLennan, The Precipice
1949: Philip Child, Mr. Ames Against Time
1950: Germaine Guèvremont, The Outlander
1951: Morley Callaghan, The Loved and the Lost
1952: David Walker, The Pillar
1953: David Walker, Digby
1954: Igor Gouzenko, The Fall of a Titan
1955: Lionel Shapiro, The Sixth of June
1956: Adele Wiseman, The Sacrifice
1957: Gabrielle Roy, Street of Riches 
1958: Colin McDougall, Execution
1959: Hugh MacLennan, The Watch That Ends the Night
1960: Brian Moore, The Luck of Ginger Coffey
1961: Malcolm Lowry, Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place
1962: Kildare Dobbs, Running to Paradise
1963: Hugh Garner, Hugh Garner's Best Stories
1964: Douglas LePan, The Deserter 
1966: Margaret Laurence, A Jest of God
1968: Alice Munro, Dance of the Happy Shades
1969: Robert Kroetsch, The Studhorse Man
1970: Dave Godfrey, The New Ancestors
1971: Mordecai Richler, St. Urbain's Horseman
1972: Robertson Davies, The Manticore
1973: Rudy Wiebe, The Temptations of Big Bear
1974: Margaret Laurence, The Diviners
1975: Brian Moore, The Great Victorian Collection
1976: Marian Engel, Bear
1977: Timothy Findley, The Wars
1978: Alice Munro, Who Do You Think You Are?
1979: Jack Hodgins, The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne
1980: George Bowering, Burning Water
1981: Mavis Gallant, Home Truths: Selected Canadian Stories
1982: Guy Vanderhaeghe, Man Descending 
1983: Leon Rooke, Shakespeare's Dog
1984: Josef Skvorecky, The Engineer of Human Souls
1987: M.T. Kelly, A Dream Like Mine
1988: David Adams Richards, Nights Below Station Street
1989: Paul Quarrington, Whale Music
1990: Nino Ricci, Lives of the Saints
1991: Rohinton Mistry, Such a Long Journey
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
1993: Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries
1985: Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
1986: Alice Munro, The Progress of Love
1994: Rudy Wiebe, A Discovery of Strangers  
1995: Greg Hollingshead, The Roaring Girl 
1996: Guy Vanderhaeghe, The Englishman's Boy
1997: Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter
1998: Diane Schoemperlen, Forms of Devotion
1999: Matt Cohen, Elizabeth and After
2000: Michael Ondaatje, Anil's Ghost
2001: Richard B. Wright, Clara Callan
2002: Gloria Sawai, A Song for Nettie Johnson
2003: Douglas Glover, Elle
2004: Miriam Toews, A Complicated Kindness
2005: David Gilmour, A Perfect Night to Go to China
2006: Peter Behrens, The Law of Dreams
2007: Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero
2008: Nino Ricci, The Origin of Species
2009: Kate Pullinger, The Mistress of Nothing
2010: Dianne Warren, Cool Water
2011: Patrick DeWitt, The Sisters Brothers
2012: Linda Spalding, The Purchase

Still to be read:

1937: Laura Salverson, The Dark Weaver


  1. Dude, this is an AMAZING project, and colour me hugely impressed by your 'completed' list ...

    Also, "Canadian Book Club of One" made me laugh. Out loud.

  2. Interesting!!!! I am attempting to read all winners in 2016!

    1. That's awesome! I'd love to know your favorites and least favorites as you go through them!


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