This morning via livestream, the Scotiabank Giller Prize announced their 14 title longlist. Hosted by 2019 winner Ian Williams (author of Reproduction), the announcement ushered in the 2020 fall literary season in a year of unprecedented change. As prize announcements and events move to the virtual world, authors and publishers wait to see what the effect will be.
Regardless of the changes to how prizes are announced, one thing remains constant: how tough it is to choose, even with an unusually large longlist at 14 titles, just a few books and voices to celebrate.
The 2020 Giller jury is chaired by Mark Sakamoto, and includes fellow Canadian authors David Chariandy and Eden Robinson, as well as British critic and Editor of the Culture segment of the Guardian, Claire Armitstead, and Canadian/British author and journalist, Tom Rachman. Even with submission guidelines tightened in recent years, allowing fewer submissions from publishers, the jurors still had a very tough task, selecting from 118 submitted books.
The 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist:
- Gil Adamson, for her novel, Ridgerunner, published by House of Anansi Press
- David Bergen, for his short story collection, Here The Dark, published by Biblioasis
- Lynn Coady, for her novel, Watching You Without Me, published by House of Anansi Press
- Eva Crocker, for her novel, All I Ask, published by House of Anansi Press
- Emma Donoghue, for her novel, Pull of The Stars, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
- Francesca Ekwuyasi, for her novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread, published by Arsenal Pulp Press
- Michelle Good, for her novel, Five Little Indians, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
- Kaie Kellough, for his short story collection, Dominoes At The Crossroads, published by Véhicule Press
- Thomas King, for his novel, Indians On Vacation, published by Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.
- Annabel Lyon, for her novel, Consent, published by Random House Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
- Shani Mootoo, for her novel, Polar Vortex, published by Book*hug Press
- Emily St. John Mandel, for her novel, The Glass Hotel, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
- Seth, for his graphic novel, Clyde Fans, published by Drawn & Quarterly
- Souvankham Thammavongsa, for her short story collection, How To Pronounce Knife, published by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
It's another excellent year for independent presses, with 8 of 14 nominations going to Canadian-owned indie houses, including House of Anansi Press, Arsenal Pulp Press, Biblioasis, Book*hug Press, Drawn & Quarterly, and Véhicule Press. The remaining nominations went to Harper Collins Canada, with four nominations, and imprints of Penguin Random House Canada, with two.
The shortlist will be announced October 5 and the winner, who will receive $100,000, will be announced on November 9. Each of the shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000.