Inuk writer, Norma Dunning won the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for her short story collection, Tainna: The Unseen Ones. Tainna is a collection of six stories that focus on an Inuk living in modern times in southern Canada. The stories contrast in themes, with homelessness and wealth, youth and elderly experiences and the living and the dead.
Norma is not only an author, but a scholar, assistant and lecturer at the University of Alberta.
Along with her accolade, Norma won a prize of $25,000 for her work. She joins six other winners, including David A. Robertson and Julie Flett, who wrote On the Trapline. On the Trapline tells the story of a boy who goes to his family’s trapline with his Moshom, or grandfather. This story won in the young people’s illustrated books category.
See the full list of English language prizes here:
- Fiction: Tainna: The Unseen Ones by Norma Dunning
- Poetry: The Junta of Happenstance by Tolu Oloruntoba
- Drama: sexual misconduct of the middle classes by Hannah Moscovitch
- Non-fiction: alfabet / alphabet: a memoir of a first language by Sadiqa de Meijer
- Young people’s literature — text: Firefly by Phillipa Dowding
- Young people’s literature — illustrated books: On the Trapline by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett
- Translation (from French to English): This Radiant Life translated by Erín Moure from Chantal Neuveu
The winners of the French language prizes are:
- Fiction: Faire les sucres by Fanny Britt
- Poetry: Pendant que Perceval tombait by Tania Langlais
- Drama: Copeaux by Mishka Lavigne
- Non-fiction: Du diesel dans les veines by Serge Bouchard and Mark Fortier
- Young people’s literature — text: Les avenues by Jean-François Sénéchal
- Young people’s literature — illustrated books: À qui appartiennent les nuages? by Mario Brassard and Gérard DuBois
- Translation (from English to French): Poèmes 1938-1984 translated by Marie Frankland from The Collected Poems by Elizabeth Smart
Photo: Norma Dunning / CBC
Learn more about this year’s winners here.