Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prizes: History at the GGs

Nonfiction winner of the 2010 Governor General's Award winners, announced yesterday, is Saskatoon journalist Allan Casey for his first book, Lakeland: Journeys into the Soul of Canada. I don't know it, but it seems to be a science-ecology-cultural history mix. Here is what another fine Saskatchewan writer on that territory, Trevor Herriot, said about it last January.

Elizabeth Abbott's History of Marriage and John English's Trudeau biography were history titles among the nominees.  Main history winner seems to be the French-language nonfiction title, C’est ma seigneurie que je r├ęclame: la lutte des Hurons de Lorette pour la seigneurie de Sillery, 1650-1900. by Michel Lavoie, who teaches (has taught?) history at the University of Sherbrooke. The citation says:
Supported by an enormous amount of archival research, this historical work by Michel Lavoie retraces the claims of the Huron of Sillery for the restitution of the only concession ever granted to a group of Aboriginal people, in 1651. The consequences of their failure to win this restitution – from the trusteeship of the Jesuits to their petition before the courts in the 19th century – shape the colonial history of Canada in a fascinating way.
Anyone translating this, I wonder?

I sense the French-language nonfiction juries may privilege research and subject matter a little more than the English-language ones, where literary nonfiction criteria prevail more frequently, I think.

PS: On the other Governor General's Awards -- for history teaching -- the GG is making presentations this Friday.  Canada's History Online announces the winners here.
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