Ian Williams, first-time novelist and author of Reproduction (Random House Canada), has won the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
The $100,000 award was presented during a black-tie dinner and ceremony last night, hosted by singer/songwriter and actress Jann Arden. Other nominees included David Bezmozgis for Immigrant City (HarperCollins Canada); Megan Gail Coles for Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club (House of Anansi); Michael Crummey for The Innocents (Doubleday Canada); Alix Ohlin for Dual Citizens (House of Anansi), and Steven Price for Lampedusa (McClelland & Stewart).
Making up the esteemed jury panel for this year were Canadian authors Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda (jury chair) and Canadian playwright José Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon. About Williams' winning book, they had this to say:
"Ian Williams' Reproduction is many things at once. It's an engrossing story of disparate people brought together and also a masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender, and geography. It's a pointed and often playful pointing out of individual and shared stories in the close spaces of hospital rooms, garages, mansions, and apartments, and a symphonic performance of resonant and dissonant voices, those of persons wanting to impress, persuade, deny, or beguile others, and always trying again."
In addition to the cash prize, Williams will also be honoured with a sit-down conversation and reading at the 2020 San Miguel Writers' Conference and Literary Festival and receive a two-week, self-directed residency at Leighton Artists' Studios, located at Banff Centre for the Arts.
Williams is a past recipient of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for his debut collection Not Anyone's Anything (Freehand Books) and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award for his book, Personals (Freehand Books).
For more information on the Scotiabank Giller Prize, visit their website.