The Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominees

gillerAs you may know, The Scotiabank Giller Prize is an annual award given to the best work in Canadian fiction, as chosen by a small yet distinguished group of jurists. The winner of the Prize, now in its 20th year, receives 50 grand. The five finalists will be announced October 8th (the winner November 4th) , but until then, here is the full list of nominees, a handy reference on what to read during our long winter nights, or what to get a loved one this Christmas!

The promoters summarize the list beautifully: “These are essential stories. Each of these novels and story collections offer a glimpse of who we are, who we might be. Whether set in postwar Vienna, or 1970s Montreal, contemporary Afghanistan or Newfoundland, each of these books took us out of ourselves to places that were at times uncomfortable, at times exhilarating. Some of the short stories in these collections exhibit a scope and breadth one would normally associate with a novel; some of the novels on this list have the distilled intensity one expects from short fiction. But all of these books surprised us with their formal rigour, the ferocity of their vision, and their willingness to tell unknown stories in remarkably familiar ways.”

That list of nominees promised:

goinghomeagainGoing Home Again by Dennis Bock
“A novel about the mysteries of the human heart, Going Home Again is rich with the exquisite tensions between men and women as they fall in and out of love.”

The Orenda by Joseph Boydenorenda
“Boyden’s bloody and brick-thick new novel, The Orenda, is a historical epic about an idealistic missionary caught between warring tribes, hundreds of years before confederation. . . Full of head-bludgeoning and throat-cutting scenes set in the wilds of what is now Ontario, the novel feels like a hybrid of Pierre Berton and Cormac McCarthy: perfect for readers who like a little arterial spray with their history.” – Toronto Life

hell goingHellgoing by Lynn Coady
“With astonishing range and depth, Lynn Coady gives us eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last.”

cataract-cityCataract City by Craig Davidson
“Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town’s underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.”

How-To-Get-Along-With-WomenHow to Get Along With Women by Elisabeth De Mariaffi
“Infused with a close and present danger, these stories tighten the knot around power, identity, and sexuality, and draw the reader into the pivotal moments where – for better or for worse – we see ourselves for what we truly are.”

extraordinaryExtraordinary by David Gilmour
“A heart-rending novel about end-of-life, family and children. A gentle consideration of assisted suicide, but it is also a story about siblings – about how brothers and sisters turn out so differently; about how little, in fact, turns out the way we expect. In the end, this is a novel about the extraordinary business of being alive….”

october 1970October 1970 by Louis Hamelin
“Two kidnappings. One dead. A crisis unlike anything the country had ever seen; here is the story behind history…”

emancipation dayEmancipation Day by Wayne Grady
“How far would a son go to belong? And how far would a father go to protect him?” “…this is an arresting, heartwrenching novel about fathers and sons, love and sacrifice, race relations and a time in our history when the world was on the cusp of momentous change.”

The-Son-of-a-Certain-Woman-711x1024The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston
“The Son of a Certain Woman is Wayne Johnston’s funniest, sexiest novel yet, controversial in its issues, wise, generous and then some in its depiction of humanity.” – Google Books

the-woman-upstairs-claire-messud-n4kimy14The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
“From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own.”

caughtCaught by Lisa Moore
“…about a man who escapes from prison to embark upon one of the most ambitious pot-smuggling adventures ever attempted. Here are bravado and betrayal, bad weather and seas, love, undercover agents, the collusion of governments, unbridled ambition, innocence and the loss thereof, and many, many bales of marijuana. Here, too, is the seeming invincibility of youth and all the folly that it allows. Caught is an exuberant, relentlessly suspenseful, and utterly unique novel, and promises to be the astonishing Lisa Moore’s most accomplished work to date.”

crooked maidThe Crooked Maid by Dan Vyleta
“A dark and suspenseful novel set in post-war Vienna among the spectators in a criminal trial mid-summer, 1948. Two strangers, Anna Beer and young Robert Seidel, meet on a train as they return to Vienna, where life is just resuming after the upheavals of war. Men who were conscripted into the German army are filtering back home, including Anna’s estranged husband, Dr. Anton Beer, who was held prisoner in a brutal Russian camp. But when Anna returns to their old apartment, she finds another man living there and her husband missing.”


– Lyle

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