We are half-way through the year and the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury is hard at work reading through the submissions for this year's Prize. We checked in with them to ask if they could share a bit about the process so far. Here's what they had to say.
Aminatta Forna is an award-winning novelist, essayist and memoirist. Her novels include Happiness, The Hired Man and The Memory of Love, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Aidoo Snyder Prize and Germany’s Literaturpreis. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages and her essays on society, politics and culture have appeared in Freeman’s, Granta, The Guardian, The Nation and The New York Review of Books. Forna is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a recipient of a Windham Campbell Award and was made OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2017. She currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.
José Teodoro is the author of several plays, including Mote, Cloudless, The Tourist and Slowly, an exchange is taking place. Teodoro’s play Steps was recently published in Playwrights Canada Press’ anthology Long Story Short. He has worked as story editor on acclaimed films including Hugh Gibson’s documentary feature The Stairs, winner of the TFCA’s 2016 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, and Lina Rodríguez’s Señoritas and This Time Tomorrow. Teodoro is currently developing a book of conversations with Swiss-Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler entitled Nothing But Time. He lives in Toronto.
Donna Bailey Nurse is a leading literary critic, editor of the ground breaking Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing and author of What’s A Black Critic to Do. A former member of the Toronto Arts Council’s Literary Arts Committee, Bailey Nurse has curated reading series in conjunction with the Toronto Public Library and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is a contributor to Maclean’s, The Walrus and The Literary Review of Canada, and a columnist for The Next Chapter on CBC Radio. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. She lives in Pickering, Ontario.
Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, The Book of My Lives, and The Making of Zombie Wars. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the PEN/ W.G. Sebald Award, 2012 USA Fellowship, and most recently 2017 PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Oral History. He teaches at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Randy Boyagoda is the author of five books, including three works of fiction. His debut novel, Governor of the Northern Province, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2006. His second novel, Beggar’s Feast, was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize and selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.
The 2019 jury members are: Canadian authors Donna Bailey Nurse and Randy Boyagoda (jury chair), Canadian playwright José Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.
The 2018 jury members are: Canadian writer and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee, playwright and VP of advancement for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Maxine Bailey, American writer John Freeman, English novelist Philip Hensher, and Canadian author Heather O'Neill.