Congratulations to Madeleine Thien who has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This premier award for Canadian literature was initiated in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch to honour his late wife, Doris Giller. In 2005 the award became the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the richest Canadian literary award with a $100,000 prize.
The long list of 12 books was chosen from a total of 161 books submitted with Canadian judges Lawrence Hill (The Illegal, The Book of Negroes), Kathleen Winter (Annabel) and Jeet Heer (along with two other judges). The judges had the difficult task to pare the list to the 6 following books which made up the short-list to which were honoured at the Giller Event November 7, 2016.
Although I was not lucky enough to attend the celebration November 7th, I did enjoy watching the awards ceremony online. Each author was introduced by a Canadian celebrity and had an opportunity to speak and thank their supporters while they received a leather bound copy of their novel. Please click on the links below to see reviews and details of both the books and author events.
“The opportunity to meet the finalists has been such an honour and I continue to be inspired”.
Gary Barwin: Yiddish for Pirates
He shared the story of looking at his grandparents bookshelf, as a child, and imagining where his book would be placed.
Described the Giller Prize as the Taj Mahal and a “wonderful tribute” to Doris Giller.
“The starting point was real stories that seemed more incredible than fiction could ever be”.
Madeleine Thien: Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Her book was described by the jury as “a beautiful homage to music and the human spirit”
Described how she had written in her journal “this book might be my biggest failure” yet she was part of the short-list for the Giller Prize!
This year’s event had a unique list of books and was an exciting competition for book lovers across Canada. I have been very lucky to meet the authors at a number of different events including The Grimsby Author Series, Eden Mills Book Festival and the Between The Pages Giller Event. I am ending with a few pictures of myself with May Liao on our day celebrating the Giller Prize authors during our meet up in Toronto!