I just had the pleasure of attending the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2019 Shortlist announcement. It is always such a lovely event, with a few quick speeches, some nibbles, and most importantly: the shortlist announcement.
Here are the 2019 shortlisted books- make sure to support Canadian Literature and to buy them from your local bookstore! (The bundle also makes a great Christmas present too!) A big congratulations to these fantastic authors on this accomplishment:
Immigrant City by David Bezmozgis– “In this wise and assured collection, Bezmozgis has reimagined immigrant lives not simply as marked by displacement and discontinuity, but of immigration as a shared and binding experience that crosses the boundaries of race, nationality, occupation, class, politics and even past betrayals, to serve as a point of connection and compassion between Bezmozgis’s characters,” the jury read in their statement.
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles– “This is not your traditional Newfoundland novel of social isolation. Instead, Megan Gail Coles portrays the harsh existence of the islanders’ as emblematic of the human condition itself. The characters’ lives unfold around a fine restaurant. They are physically and emotionally crippled by their society’s devastating inequalities, the women psychologically maimed by repeated sexual assault. Coles’s narrator storms against the status quo in a kinetic novel that dazzles, challenges and exhilarates,” the jury said in their statement.
The Innocents by Michael Crummey– “Written in a language that is at the same time fresh and ancient, Michael Crummey’s The Innocents is a (mis)creation myth that demands a reconsideration of what we think we know about love and death, family and loneliness, oblivion and wisdom, horror and beauty, bodies and knowledge, violence and desire,” the jury said today.
Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin– “Alix Ohlin’s novel, true to its title, quietly refutes monolithic tenets that regard identity as something fixed and singular. Dividing its narrative between Canada and the U.S., the urban and the wild, solitude and solidarity, creativity and caregiving, Dual Citizens is a long-term sororal love story and affecting double-portrait of female self-actualization untethered from established paradigms of ambition” the jury said in a statement.
Lampedusa by Steven Price– “Lampedusa is a fairy tale about a dying prince, the last of his line, the real-life Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the beloved Italian novel The Leopard. Steven Price powerfully imagines Tomasi’s final days as the ailing author struggles to complete and publish his treasured manuscript. Set in a post war Palermo of bombed-out buildings and ruined palazzos, the novel contemplates what values are worth retaining in life and in art,” the jury said in their statement.
Reproduction by 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 plotting 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,” the jury said earlier today.