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Scotiabank Giller Prize Reveals Shortlist of Heavy Hitters for 30th Anniversary

Banner image with abstract pink and red background and images of the five books nominated for the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize

This morning the Scotiabank Giller Prize announced their five book 2023 shortlist via Facebook livestream. Whittled down from the 12-title longlist, the shortlist is packed with highly decorated writers, including Eleanor Catton, a previous Booker Prize winner; Sarah Bernstein, nominated for this year's Booker; and CS Richardson, a previous Giller Prize nominee. Kevin Chong is an acclaimed multi-genre writer and a writing professor, as is Dionne Irving, who is also nominated for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her book The Islands. Geographically, the finalists hail from a wide variety of locations, with Berstein based in Scotland, Catton in Cambridge, UK, Chong in Vancouver, Richardson in Toronto, and Irving in Indiana, USA. 

The longlist included several debut authors (Nina Dunic, Menaka Raman-Wilms, and Erum Shazia Hasan were nominated for their debut novels, and Kasia Van Schaik was nominated for her debut short story collection), though none appeared on the shortlist this year.

It has proved a good year for Penguin Random House Canada, who had four titles on the longlist, three of which (Bernstein, Catton, and Richardson) made it through.

2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist: 

  • Study For Obedience by Sarah Bernstein (Knopf Canada)
  • Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (McClelland & Stewart)
  • The Double Life of Benson Yu by Kevin Chong (Atria Books)
  • The Islands by Dionne Irving (Catapult Books)
  • All The Colour In The World by CS Richardson (Knopf Canada)

The five books nominated for the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize side by side

Popular CBC Radio personality Elamin Abdelmahmoud hosted the prize announcement and jury members Ian Williams and Sharon Bala announced the finalists. 

The 2023 jurors read 145 submissions from across the country. Canadian writers Sharon Bala, Brian Thomas Isaac, and Ian Williams (jury chair) and international authors Rebecca Makkai and Neel Mukherjee chose both the shortlist and the longlist. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the prize, which is largely considered the most prestigious fiction award in the country. 

The final winner, who will received $100,000, will be announced live on CBC at an event hosted by the incomparable Rick Mercer on November 13, 2023 at 9 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. AT, 12 a.m. NT). The broadcast will be presented commercial-free courtesy of Scotia Wealth Management. CBC Gem will stream the ceremony, with a livestream also available on Listeners can tune in to the broadcast special on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. AT, 10:30 p.m. NT).

The 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlisted books are available in accessible format for print-disabled Canadians through the National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).