Labour Day has passed and that means it's the beginning of prize season in CanLit. And what better way to kick off an autumn of book award announcements than to start with the biggest of them all? Today the Scotiabank Giller Prize released its whopping 12-title longlist, with notable inclusions like past winners Margaret Atwood, whose hotly anticipated The Handmaid's Tale sequel landed a coveted spot, and André Alexis.
The Giller Prize honours the finest work in fiction (novels or short story collections) published in Canada in the previous year. This year's jury, comprised of Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda (jury chair), Aminatta Forna, Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon, and José Teodoro, read 117 submissions from publishers across the country.
The 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist:
- André Alexis for Days by Moonlight (Coach House Books)
- Margaret Atwood for The Testaments (McClelland & Stewart)
- David Bezmozgis for Immigrant City (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)
- Michael Christie for Greenwood (McClelland & Stewart)
- Megan Gail Coles for Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club (House of Anansi Press)
- Michael Crummey for The Innocents (Doubleday Canada)
- Adam Foulds for Dream Sequence (Biblioasis)
- K.D. Miller for Late Breaking (Biblioasis)
- Alix Ohlin for Dual Citizens (House of Anansi Press)
- Steven Price for Lampedusa (McClelland & Stewart)
- Zalika Reid-Benta for Frying Plantain (Astoria, an imprint of House of Anansi Press)
- Ian Williams for Reproduction (Random House Canada)
It's also a strong year for independent presses with Coach House Books, Biblioasis, and House of Anansi all making appearances (and together making up a full 50% of the list). And we at Open Book are thrilled to see past Open Book writer-in-residence Zalika Reid-Benta nominated for her powerhouse short fiction collection, Frying Plantain.
Stay tuned for more book prize news this season, including the Giller Prize shortlist on September 30.
The winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced at a gala in Toronto on November 18 and will be awarded $100,000. Each of the shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000. As in past years, the event will air live on CBC, so you can cheer on your favourite on November 18!