Well, my to-be-read pile just got quite a bit higher.
The longlist for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize (known colloquially as the Giller) for Canadian fiction was announced this week, and it includes a pretty diverse company of writers, styles and publishers. The twelve titles include previously-nominated authors, a few newbies and an almost equal number of indie and big name publishing houses.
Culled from a submission pile of more than 160 titles, the finalists will be reduced to a shortlist to be announced on October 5, with the winning book revealed during a November 10 CBC prime-time broadcast. Last year’s Giller broadcast, where Sean Michael’s win for Us Conductors was announced, was a star-studded affair featuring Canadian literary and entertainment luminaries. It’s like the Oscars for book lovers, so be sure to tune in.
On the longlist:
- André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs (Coach House Books)
Talking dogs, a debate about consciousness, and a bet between gods set the tone for this novel by Andre Alexis. This is his first Giller nomination.
- Samuel Archibald, Arvida (Biblioasis) translated from the French by Donald Winkler
The writer explores ideas of his hometown in a series of stories filled with “everyday wonder and terror, longing, and love.” This is Samuel Archibald’s first Giller nomination.
- Michael Christie, If I Fall, If I Die (McClelland & Stewart)
A thoroughly original coming-of-age story about a boy who discovering life and himself, after finally being released from the grip of his agoraphobic mother. Christie was previously longlisted for his 2011 short story collection, The Beggar’s Garden.
- Rachel Cusk, Outline (HarperCollins)
A woman teaching in Greece learns important lessons from the people she encounters around her. Come for the lush setting, stay for the gorgeous stories. This is Cusk’s first Giller nomination.
- Patrick DeWitt, Undermajordomo Minor (House of Anansi)
Another dark comedy from DeWitt, this novel follows a new employee of a mysterious castle, which, like the village it overlooks, harbours many magical secrets. Patrick DeWitt was previously shortlisted for 2011’s The Sisters Brothers.
- Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh (Doubleday Canada)
One week in the life of gallery owner Hugh Argylle as he attempts to put back the pieces of a fractured life. Endicott’s novel, Good to a Fault was shortlisted for the Giller in 2008.
- Connie Gault, A Beauty (McClelland & Stewart)
Gault’s novel celebrates the heart of the heartland, with an epic roadtrip through 1930’s Saskatchewan. This is Gault’s first Giller nomination.
- Alix Hawley, All True Not a Lie In It (Knopf Canada)
A fictional account of Daniel Boone’s life, uncovering hidden corners of the enigmatic adventurer through a thoughtful, first-person narrative. This is Hawley’s first Giller nomination.
- Clifford Jackman, The Winter Family (Random House)
This western-noir novel follows an unlikely group of outlaw thugs as they traverse the American landscape searching for fortune and infamy. This is the author’s first Giller nomination.
- Heather O’Neill, Daydreams of Angels (HarperCollins)
O’Neill’s signature mix of grit and heart permeates this short story collection. Heather O’Neill was previously on the Giller shortlist for 2014’s The Girl Who Was Saturday Night.
- Anakana Schofield, Martin John (Biblioasis)
A dark and contemporary novel that gives marginalized characters a spotlight under which their unconventional motivations are illuminated. This is Schofield’s first Giller nomination.
- Russell Smith, Confidence (Biblioasis)
These short stories uncover the secrets and subtleties of modern relationships in a thoroughly urban setting. This is Smith’s first Giller nomination.