Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Canadian Books in Spaaaaaace

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Canadian Books in Spaaaaaace

Fun update from our friends at the Canada Council for the Arts:

Canadian astronauts Julie Payette and Robert Thirsk are in space, and so are two Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGLA) winning books: Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Toronto), published by HarperCollins Canada, and Deux pas vers les étoiles by Jean-Rock Gaudreault (Longueuil, originally from Saguenay, QC), published by Dramaturges Éditeurs.

At the request of the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Council for the Arts contributed the books to Robert Thirsk’s official flight kit for his expedition to the International Space Station. Dr. Thirsk brought them in recognition of the fact that he is a descendant of Sir John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, the Governor General who established the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 1936 and author of The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Both authors are over the moon

“I’m so honoured that Robert Thirsk chose to take my novel Airborn with him on his six-month mission,” said Kenneth Oppel. “It’s completely thrilling to think of it in orbit aboard the International Space Station. I’m very proud of Canada’s involvement in the ISS, and the astronauts really do exemplify the best of human cooperation, learning and enterprise. I’m delighted that my book is in such stellar company.”

Kenneth Oppel has written over twenty books and is the best-selling author of Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing, which have sold over a million copies worldwide and have won numerous awards.

“This is the ultimate voyage,” said Jean-Rock Gaudreault, the 2003 GGLA winner in French Theatre. “Junior, one of the characters in my play, wants to run away to the United States to become an astronaut. Cornelia, a girl of his age, goes along with him, but the train they hope to take does not come by. I feel that Robert Thirsk moves my story forward and helps Junior and Cornelia travel to the stars. This is an unbelievable feeling for me!”

Jean-Rock Gaudreault has written several plays which have been performed more than a thousand times on stage in Canada and abroad. Deux pas vers les étoiles has been translated in English by Linda Gaboriau and is entitled Two Steps from the Stars, published by Playwrights Canada Press.

Photo of Dr. Thirsk with Airborn on the ISS, courtesy of NASA

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