2015 Finalists2018-08-19T19:50:27+00:00

2015 Finalists

Winner

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

Coach House Books

Shortlist

The 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its shortlist on Monday, October 5, 2015, derived from a longlist of 12 books. The jury read an astonishing 168 works of fiction this year – a record number of books in the prize’s twenty two year history – submitted by 63 publishers, from every region of the country. The longlist was selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Irish author John Boyne (Jury Chair), Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi.

The shortlisted finalists for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize are as follows:

Coach House Books

André Alexis

Biography

André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other previous books include Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf and, most recently Pastoral, which was also nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was named a Globe and Mail Top 100 book of 2014.

Jury Citation

What does it mean to be alive? To think, to feel, to love and to envy? André Alexis explores all of this and more in the extraordinary Fifteen Dogs, an insightful and philosophical meditation on the nature of consciousness. It’s a novel filled with balancing acts: humour juxtaposed with savagery, solitude with the desperate need to be part of a pack, perceptive prose interspersed with playful poetry. A wonderful and original piece of writing that challenges the reader to examine their own existence and recall the age old question, what’s the meaning of life?

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Excerpted from FIFTEEN DOGS. Copyright © André Alexis, 2015. Excerpted by permission of Coach House Books, Toronto. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Biblioasis

Samuel Archibald

Biographies

Samuel Archibald‘s debut collection of short fiction, Arvida (Éditions Le Quartanier, 2011), won Quebec’s Prix Des Libraries 2012 and Prix Coup de Coeur Renaud-Bray 2012. He currently teaches contemporary popular culture at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he lectures on genre fiction, horror movies, and video games, among other subjects.

Donald Winkler is a Montreal- based literary translator and documentary filmmaker. He has translated French language fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for many years, and is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for French-to-English translation, most recently, in 2013, for Pierre Nepveu’s collection of verse, The Major Verbs.

Jury Citation

Samuel Archibald’s stories come from over there: way, way over there. They live in the woods, hunting for creatures that may or may not exist, and they sometimes go surging down the highway at reckless speeds. At other times, they freeze, paralysed by the strange sounds that should not be coming from empty rooms in very old houses. This writing – so wise and funny and impeccably crafted – is the best kind of gossip: it tells us everything we need to know, the real dirt, about this place and about all the people, the true ‘characters,’ we meet wandering up and down the cryptic streets of a real but mythic Arvida. There is a lot of whispering going on in this town, a lot of information that strains credulity, a lot of laughter, a lot of suspense, a bit of fear. Arvida is just like life: a tender, sometimes terrifying, mystery unfolding before our eyes.

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Excerpted from ARVIDA Copyright © Samuel Archibald, 2015. Translation copyright © Donald Winkler. Excerpted by permission of Biblioasis. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Rachel Cusk

Biography

Rachel Cusk is the author of seven novels: Saving Agnes, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award; In the Fold; Arlington Park, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize; and The Bradshaw Variations. Her non-fiction books are A Life’s Work, The Last Supper, and Aftermath. In 2003 she was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Born in Canada, Rachel lives in London, England.

Jury Citation

Compulsively readable and dazzlingly intelligent, Rachel Cusk’s Outline follows a writer’s journey to Athens to teach a summer writing course. Along the way she encounters a cast of characters who share with her the outlines of their own life stories. The result is a novel of breathtaking skill and originality. Perfectly paced, without a word out of place, Outline reminds us of the truly formidable power that good literature has to change our hearts and our minds.

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Excerpted from OUTLINE. Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Cusk. Excerpted by permission of Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, by arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Heather O'Neill

Biography

Heather O’Neill is the author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which was a finalist for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, won CBC’s Canada Reads and the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize. O’Neill is a regular contributor to CBC Books, CBC Radio, This American Life, The New York Times Magazine, The Gazette, The Walrus and The Globe and Mail. She was born in Montreal, where she currently lives.

Jury Citation

This is a work of acute charm and radically deft imagination. Whether probing the behaviour of clones for some sign of a relationship between genes and genius, eavesdropping on the anecdotes of abandoned dolls, or detailing the particulars of ‘A Portrait Of The Marquis de Sade As A Young Girl’, O’Neill’s stories continually spar with that which so often defines our lives or limits our daring – the problem of pain. Here are characters born of a distinctive sensibility and sent forth to chart the strange and volatile terrain where grace is found, lost, and found again. There’s no thrill quite like encountering tales this tall, and few tall tales offer up their gifts this freely.

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Excerpted from DAYDREAMS OF ANGELS. Copyright © 2015 by Heather O’Neill. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis

Anakana Schofield

Biography

Anakana Schofield won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky. Irish-Canadian, she has lived in London and in Dublin, Ireland and presently lives in Vancouver. Malarky was also nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and named on many best books of 2012 lists. Schofield has contributed criticism and essays to the London Review of Books Blog, The Guardian, The Irish Times and The Globe and Mail and more.

Jury Citation

Stylish and provocative, Martin John comes at you as soft and lyrical as a folk song. But like the tune that refuses to stop repeating itself, it is hauntingly about all those memories of suspect desires and guilty pleasures, of knowing right from wrong, of wanting to do what even your mamma would want you to do but maybe you just can’t. As readers, we find Martin John a tantalizing reflection on living the contradictions in every identity and of definitively knowing what is real. At its heart, this is a bittersweet story of personal confrontations such as asking do I always want what others — even my mother — want for me.

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Excerpted from MARTIN JOHN Copyright © Anakana Schofield, 2015. Excerpted by permission of A John Metcalf Book an imprint of Biblioasis. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Longlist

The 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its longlist on Wednesday, September 9, 2015. The twelve titles were chosen from a field of 168 books – a record number of books in the prize’s twenty two year history – submitted by 63 publishers, from every region of the country. The longlist was selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Irish author John Boyne (Jury Chair),
Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi.

Of the 2015 longlist, the jury writes:

It’s been a joy to immerse ourselves in a world of fiction that speaks of the past and present, of women and men, of rural and urban identities, of humans and animals, of lives lived well and lives lived badly. While the writing we’ve encountered has been marked by audacity and wit, eccentricity and elegance, it has also reminded us of the extraordinary treasures to be found in contemporary Canadian literature.

The finalists will be revealed at an event in Toronto on Monday, October 5th. As of last year, the prize purse doubled, with $100,000 going to the winner and $10,000 to each finalist, making the Scotiabank Giller Prize the richest fiction prize in Canada. The Scotiabank Giller Prize is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.

Coach House Books
André Alexis

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Excerpted from FIFTEEN DOGS. Copyright © André Alexis, 2015. Excerpted by permission of Coach House Books, Toronto. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Biblioasis
Samuel Archibald

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Excerpted from ARVIDA Copyright © Samuel Archibald, 2015. Translation copyright © Donald Winkler. Excerpted by permission of Biblioasis. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by McClelland & Stewart
Michael Christie

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Excerpted from IF I FALL, IF I DIE. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Christie. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Rachel Cusk

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Excerpted from OUTLINE. Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Cusk. Excerpted by permission of Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, by arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by House of Anansi Press
Patrick deWitt

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Excerpted from UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR. Copyright © 2015 by Patrick deWitt. Excerpted by permission of House of Anansi Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Doubleday Canada
Marina Endicott

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Excerpted from CLOSE TO HUGH. Copyright © 2015 Marina Endicott. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

McClelland & Stewart
Connie Gault

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Excerpted from A BEAUTY. Copyright © 2015 by Connie Gault. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Alfred A. Knopf Canada
Alix Hawley

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Excerpted from ALL TRUE NOT A LIE IN IT. Copyright © 2015 Alix Hawley. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Random House Canada
Clifford Jackman

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Excerpted from THE WINTER FAMILY. Copyright © 2015 Clifford Jackman. Excerpted by permission of Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Heather O'Neill

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Excerpted from DAYDREAMS OF ANGELS. Copyright © 2015 by Heather O’Neill. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
Anakana Schofield

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Excerpted from MARTIN JOHN Copyright © Anakana Schofield, 2015. Excerpted by permission of A John Metcalf Book an imprint of Biblioasis. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
Anakana Schofield

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Excerpted from CONFIDENCE Copyright © Russell Smith, 2015. Excerpted by permission of A John Metcalf Book an imprint of Biblioasis. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Jury

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is pleased to announce the award-winning, five-member jury panel for the 2015 prize. They are: John Boyne, Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod, Helen Oyeyemi and Alison Pick.

John Boyne

Biography

John Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is the author of nine novels for adults and four for younger readers, most famously The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, which sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and was made into an award-winning Miramax feature film. John’s adult novels include the international bestsellers The House of Special Purpose and The Absolutist. His most recent novel, A History of Loneliness, was shortlisted for Ireland’s premier literary award, the Irish Novel of the Year. He has won three Irish Book Awards, several international prizes, and has been inducted into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame. His novels are translated into more than 45 languages., was published in 2016.

Cecil Foster

Biography

Cecil Foster is the author of 12 books including five critically acclaimed novels. Foster’s latest book, Independence, was published in 2014. Sleep On, Beloved was shortlisted for the 1995 Ontario Trillium Award and No Man in the House (1991) aired frequently on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Other works include Blackness and Modernity: The Colour of Humanity and the Quest for Freedom (2007), which won the John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award in 2008, and Genuine Multiculturalism: Tragedy and Comedy of Diversity (2014). A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in Canada (1996) won the 1997 Gordon Montador Award. Currently on leave as a professor at the University of Guelph, Foster is a professor and interim chair in the Department of Transnational Studies at SUNY, Buffalo. He resides in Toronto and Buffalo, NY.

Alexander MacLeod

Biography

Alexander MacLeod is a writer and an associate professor of English literature at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His first collection of short stories, Light Lifting, won an Atlantic Book Award and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book, Canada and the Caribbean) and the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award. The collection was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal Award for Excellence in Fiction and was named a “Book of the year” by the American Library Association, the Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, and Quill and Quire. His scholarly research focuses on theories of cultural geography and social space in contemporary Canadian and American fiction.

Helen Oyeyemi

Biography

Helen Oyeyemi is author of five novels, including White is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr Fox, winner of a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and most recently Boy, Snow, Bird. In 2013, Oyeyemi was named one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists. She lives in Prague.

Alison Pick

Biography

Alison Pick is the author of the best-selling memoir Between Gods, a Top Book of 2014 at the Globe and Mail and the CBC, and nominee for the BC National Non-Fiction Award. Her novel Far to Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. It was a Top 10 Book of 2010 at NOW Magazine and the Toronto Star. Between Gods and Far to Go were both published internationally. Alison has won several awards, among them the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award for most promising writer under 35 in Canada, the 2003 CBC Literary Award for Poetry and the 2005 National Magazine Award for Poetry. She is currently on Faculty at the Humber School for Writers and the 2015 Iceland Writers Retreat. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Alison lives and works in Toronto.