The Literati: Giller Surprises Some, Messy Desks, and Mourning a Great Loss
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The Literati: Giller Surprises Some, Messy Desks, and Mourning a Great Loss

Every Tuesday afternoon, Torontoist rounds up the city’s literary news, including book deals, events, local sales, author happenings, and insider information from the book industry.
2008_09_16Literati.jpgObviously the big Canadian literary news this week is Monday morning’s announcement of the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. The jury, comprised of Margaret Atwood, Bob Rae, and Colm Toibin, selected 15 worthy titles out of 95 books submitted. The list includes some obvious choices, such as Nino Ricci and Austin Clarke, but it also has some surprise picks. Former Toronto resident Pasha Malla discovered his book, The Withdrawal Method, made the coveted list when I informed him via instant message. Malla told The National Post that he hadn’t considered making the list: “I mean, a first book of stories? I was kind of shocked.” Anyone who has read Malla’s first release is likely not shocked at all. The book met with critical and reader acclaim when it was released last May, and of course, we knew his talents all along.
Poet Evie Christie has created a brand new blog that looks at the messy (and not so messy) desks of some of Canada’s most important scribes. So far Desk Space has revealed to readers photographs of the workstations of Claire Cameron, Paul Vermeersch, Tony Burgess, and the very tidy Stephen Henighan. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief interview with the desk owner and an update on what they’re currently up to. Definitely worth a visit.
Writer Sheila Heti let Torontoist know that this Friday everyone is welcome to visit Trinity Bellwoods Park to observe an hour of silence between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to mourn the tragic loss of writer David Foster Wallace. According to reports, his wife discovered he had hanged himself when she came home last Friday evening. Wallace, best known for his critically acclaimed and innovative post-modern novel Infinite Jest, was 46.
Photo by Sabrina Eras.