THE Scotiabank Giller Prize this week announced its longlist for this year’s award at founder Jack Rabinovitch’s alma mater, McGill University, from Moyse Hall Theatre. Rabinovitch also announced that, beginning this year, the prize purse will double to $140,000, with $100,000 going to the winner and $10,000 to each finalist, making the Scotiabank Giller Prize the richest fiction prize in Canada.
“When we started this prize 21 years ago with the assistance of Mordecai Richler, David Staines and Alice Munro, the intent was to highlight and reward Canadian fiction authors,” Rabinovitch said. “The award then was $25,000 and we had a great deal of help from Canadian book sellers. Now with the warm and unique partnership with Scotiabank and its entire executive group, we are able to achieve this objective in a manner we never thought possible. Canadian storytellers deserve this recognition. I can hardly imagine what Doris would say.”
“Over the past nine years, we’ve had the privilege to work with Jack Rabinovitch and Elana Rabinovitch to support the Scotiabank Giller Prize,” said Brian Porter, Scotiabank President and CEO. “We believe in the importance of celebrating the arts and the powerful role they have in our communities. Literature has a special ability to offer us windows into different worlds and help us understand different perspectives. Canada is home to some truly exceptional storytellers. We are pleased to enhance our support of Canada’s authors by increasing the prizing for the winner and all the finalists.”
The 12 titles were chosen from a field of 161 books, submitted by 63 publishers from every region of the country.
The award-winning, three-member jury panel for the 2014 prize consists of Canadian author Shauna Singh Baldwin, British novelist Justin Cartwright, and American writer Francine Prose.
* Arjun Basu for his novel Waiting for the Man published by ECW Press
* David Bezmogis for his novel The Betrayers published by HarperCollins Canada
* Rivka Galchen for her short story collection American Innovations published by HarperCollins Canada
* Frances Itani for her book Tell published by HarperCollins Canada
* Jennifer LoveGrove for her novel Watch How We Walk published by ECW Press
* Sean Michaels for his novel, Us Conductors published by Random House Canada
* Shani Mootoo for her novel Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab published by Doubleday Canada
* Heather O’Neill for her novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night published by HarperCollins Canada
* Kathy Page for her short story collection Paradise and Elsewhere published by John Metcalf Books/Biblioasis
* Claire Holden Rothman for her book My October published by Penguin Canada
* Miriam Toews for her novel All My Puny Sorrows published by Knopf Canada
* Padma Viswanathan for her book The Ever After of Ashwin Rao published by Random House Canada
Of the longlist, the jury writes: “We’re celebrating writers brave enough to change public discourse, generous with their empathy, offering deeply immersive experiences. Some delve into the sack of memory and retrieve the wisdom we need for our times, others turn the unfamiliar beloved. All are literary achievements we feel will touch and even transform you.”
The Scotiabank Giller Prize will present a series of very special events featuring this year’s shortlisted authors, taking place in Halifax on October 20, Toronto on November 3 and Vancouver on November 6. Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists will take you inside the minds and creative lives of the writers on the 2014 shortlist. Special guests will present readings from the books and performances by local artists will round out an unforgettable evening of Canadian arts and culture. For dates and forthcoming ticket information, please visit: www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/news-events/events-and-important-dates/
The Scotiabank Giller Prize will air on CBC Television on Monday, November 10 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) with host Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio’s Q.