The Grand Prix du livre de Montréal

Last updated November 18, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

The Grand Prix du livre de Montréal promotes excellence in literary creation and highlights the city’s thriving publishing scene. It recognizes a newly published work of exceptional quality and originality.

Recognizing excellence

The Grand Prix du livre de Montréal is among Québec’s leading literary distinctions, which  contribute to the dissemination of a work. The prize honours authors who have an noteworthy impact on Québec’s publishing community. A five-person jury presents the annual award in November, prior to the opening of the Salon du livre de Montréal.

The city awards a cash prize of $15,000 to the author or co-authors of a work published in French or in English, in recognition of its exceptional quality and originality. The remaining four finalists receive a cash prize of $1,000.

The 2021 winner

Author Nicholas Dawson was awarded Montréal’s 2021 Grand Prix du Livre for his book Désormais, ma demeure, published by Éditions Triptyque.

Meet the winner, as he shares in a short video the process behind his work (in French).

Jury commentary

“This year, the jury of the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal chose to award Nicholas Dawson’s ‘Désormais, ma demeure’, a moving essay that explores the theme of depression in a fresh, new way by examining it through the prism of the queer condition and the transgenerational issue of the immigrant.

 The jury appreciated the originality of this diary, which traces the various states of a journey through modern acedia. Although peppered with scholarly research, the author manages with rare skill to infuse the rhythm and music of an elegy. This hybrid work, sprinkled with traces of Spanish and English, is remarkable.

Honesty and authenticity are also visible in this exploration. ‘Fear and shame: major relics of the disease, those I still try to capture with my stories,’ admits the author for whom, if the book is the writer’s home, writing is his light.”

The 2021 finalists

The other four 2021 finalist books were:

  • “Okinum”, by Émilie Monnet, published by Éditions Les Herbes rouges
  • “La patience du lichen”, by Noémie Pomerleau-Cloutier, pub. Éditions La Peuplade
  • “Permanent Revolution”, by Gail Scott, pub. Book*hug Press
  • “Rien du tout”, by Olivia Tapiero, pub. Éditions Mémoire d’encrier

In addition to the finalists, the following five titles were also part of the Jury Selection:

  • “L’œil du maître”, by Dalie Giroux, pub. Éditions Mémoire d’encrier
  • “L’état sauvage”, by Pierre Ouellet, pub. Éditions Druide
  • “Em”, by Kim Thúy, pub. Éditions Libre Expression
  • “Mon frère Paul”, by Marité Villeneuve, pub. Éditions Del Busso
  • “We, Jane”, by Aimee Wall, pub. Book*hug Press

The jury for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2021 is representative of the various sectors in the publishing industry and the contemporary literary and intellectual currents at play in Montréal. The jury for this year’s edition, chaired by Micheal Delisle, is made up of Marie-Célie Agnant, Arianne Des Rochers, Ayavi Lake, Luke Langille and Pierrot Ross-Tremblay.

Prize-winning works from previous editions

Looking to add to your reading list? Discover the prize-winning works from previous editions.