The prestigious literary prize's judges have narrowed this year's potential winners down to five titles.
At a press conference this morning at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, organizers announced the shortlist for the 18th annual Scotiabank Giller Prize, the annual award for the best Canadian novel or short-story collection published in English.
The five nominees were chosen by three esteemed jurors: American novelist and essayist Gary Shteyngart, Canadian publisher and writer of fiction and non-fiction Anna Porter, and Irish author and screenwriter Roddy Doyle. Porter and Shteyngart were on hand to announce the shortlisted books, which are: Will Ferguson’s 419 (Viking Canada), Alix Ohlin’s Inside (House of Anansi Press), Nancy Richler’s The Imposter Bride (HarperCollins Publishers), Kim Thūy’s Ru (in its English translation by Sheila Fischman) (Random House Canada), and Russel Wangersky’s short-story collection Whirl Away (Thomas Allen Publishers). The jurors praised all of the texts for their lush and varied settings, challenging and often difficult subjects, and brave prose.
Giller founder Jack Rabinovich—who hosted the announcement along with CBC radio personality Jian Ghomeshi and a representative from Scotiabank—reminisced about creating the prize with Mordechai Richler “over chopped liver at Moishes” in Montreal. The Giller is named after Rabinovich’s late wife, journalist and literary editor Doris Giller.
The Giller Light Gala, where the winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced, will take place on October 30, 2012. It will be hosted by Ghomeshi and televised on CBC. The author of the winning book gets $50,000; the authors of the other shortlisted books will receive $5,000 each.
And the shortlist wasn’t the only exciting piece of information revealed at the press conference this morning. Kristine Stewart, an executive vice-president at CBC, said the broadcaster is working on television adaptations of the award-winning novel The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, and Best Laid Plans, the acclaimed political satire by Terry Fallis.
Photo by Natalie Zina Walschots/Torontoist.