André Alexis Wins the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize
November 11, 2015
André Alexis has been named the winner of the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books. The announcement was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by Rick Mercer, attended by nearly 500 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. CBC Television is the broadcaster for the gala.
This year the prize celebrates its 22nd anniversary.
A shortlist of five authors and their books was announced on October 5, 2015. Those finalists are:
- André Alexis for his novel Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books
- Samuel Archibald for his story collection Arvida, published by Biblioasis, translated from the French by Donald Winkler
- Rachel Cusk for her novel Outline, published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
- Heather O'Neill for her story collection Daydreams of Angels, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
- Anakana Schofield for her novel Martin John, published by A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
The shortlist and ultimate winner were selected by the esteemed five-member jury panel made up of Irish author John Boyne (Jury Chair), Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi.
Of the winning book, the jury wrote:
"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?"
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. In addition to the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Fifteen Dogs has also been awarded the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Alexis lives in Toronto.
As part of the award, The Banff Centre will provide the winner with a two-week residency in its exclusive Leighton Artists’ Colony in Banff, Alberta. The Banff Centre is a leading Canadian arts and cultural organization providing multidisciplinary programming and advancing the practice of artists and leaders.
During tonight's award ceremony, a roster of celebrity presenters – including The National Ballet's Guillaume Côté, Polaris Prize-winning Buffy Sainte-Marie, actor Torri Higginson and the Toronto International Film Festival's very own Cameron Bailey - introduced the shortlisted authors and presented video profiles highlighting their nominated books.
Listen to CBC Radio One's As It Happens tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT) for an interview with André Alexis and relive the gala on www.cbc.ca/books.
Ask André Alexis your questions on Twitter about his win during a live twitter chat hosted by @GillerPrize on November 12 at 2 p.m. ET using the hashtag #GillerWinner.
About the Prize
The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to highlight the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. The prize awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $10,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.
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