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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 Winner of Governor General's Award for Fiction - Guy Vanderhaeghe for "Daddy Lenin and Other Stories"

The Governor General’s Award for Fiction winner was announced today:  Guy Vanderhaeghe won for his collection of short stories, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories.  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 reader is carried along in the hands of a master, a seasoned professional at the top of his game” (http://ggbooks.ca/books/fiction/english/daddy-lenin-and-other-stories).

Here’s a description of the award-winning collection:  “Among these nine stories:  A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, but his bid for independence leads him in over his head.   An actor’s penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth.  With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals.  His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from polio opens unexpected doors to the world.  In the title story, a middle-aged man re-meets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin.  As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage (http://www.amazon.ca/Daddy-Lenin-Other-Stories-Vanderhaeghe/dp/0771099142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446039227&sr=1-1&keywords=daddy+lenin).

This is Vanderhaeghe’s third Governor General’s Literary Award; he won in 1982 for another short story collection, Man Descending, and in 1996 for The Englishman’s Boy.

For descriptions of the other finalists, check my blog of October 7.

Obviously, I know a good writer:  in my October 6 blog, I featured Vanderhaeghe and his frontier trilogy!

For further information about the other six winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards in the various categories, check out http://ggbooks.ca/winners-english.  And CBC has a great article about how Vanderhaeghe wrote the award-winning stories:  http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/05/guy-vanderhaeghe-how-i-wrote-daddy-lenin-and-other-stories.html.