The Giller Prize Announces 2004 Shortlist

October 7, 2004

Today, in a morning press conference that drew over 100 media and members of the publishing industry, the Giller Prize announced its 2004 shortlist. Selected by an esteemed jury panel, comprised of authors Charlotte Gray, Alistair MacLeod and M.G. Vassanji, the six finalists were chosen from 94 books submitted for consideration. Those books were submitted by 35 publishers from every region of the country.

The jury named the finalists. They are:

  • Shauna Singh Baldwin for her novel The Tiger Claw, published by Knopf Canada
  • Wayson Choy for his novel All That Matters, published by Doubleday Canada
  • Pauline Holdstock for her novel Beyond Measure, published by Cormorant Books
  • Alice Munro for her short story collection Runaway, published by McClelland & Stewart/Douglas Gibson Books
  • Paul Quarrington for his novel Galveston, published by Knopf Canada
  • Miriam Toews for her novel A Complicated Kindness, published by Knopf Canada

Jack Rabinovitch, who founded the Prize in 1994 in memory of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, also spoke at the press conference. He announced that the awards ceremony will be broadcast live across Canada on CBC Television from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 11. The finalists will be honoured and a winner announced at a gala black-tie dinner and awards ceremony to be held at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel.

The Gala

For the second year in a row, the master of ceremonies for the evening will be Mary Walsh, host of CBC Television’s Open Book and creator of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. There will also be special appearances by Jian Ghomeshi (CBC Television’s >play), Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Shelagh Rogers (CBC Radio’s ‘Sounds Like Canada’) and many more.

Public Library Promotion

Last year, in a pilot project designed to bring Canadian literature to a wider reading audience, the Giller Prize teamed up with the Toronto Public Library (TPL). The TPL’s ‘Guess the Giller’ contest highlighted the 2003 shortlisted authors and their books at 15 branch locations as well as on-line. The contest received well over 1200 entries and brought the books to the attention of a whole new crop of readers. This year, we are pleased to announce that ‘Guess the Giller’ contests will be held at 8 different library systems across the country. They are:

The Vancouver Public Library
The Calgary Public Library
The Saskatoon Public Library
The Winnipeg Public Library
The Toronto Public Library
The Ottawa Public Library
The Montreal Fraser-Hickson Public Library
The Halifax Public Library

The first winning entry at each library will receive the entire 2004 shortlist library. The second winning entry will receive the Giller Prize 10th anniversary collection of essays from previous winners, entitled ‘Prize Writing’.

Harbourfront International Festival of Authors

The Giller Prize is also thrilled to announce that this year’s Closing Night at the IFOA Saturday, October 30, will feature readings by the 2004 Giller Prize finalists. For more information, please visit

The Giller Light

Also on November 11 - and for the third year in a row - Frontier College will host The Giller Light Bash, taking place this year at the York Quay Center at Harbourfront in Toronto. The goal is to raise funds to help children and youth improve their reading and writing skills through an expansion of Frontier College’s Homework Clubs and its after-school literacy program for inner-city students. To date, the Giller Light Bash has raised over $30,000 for Frontier College. Please visit for more information.

Department of Canadian Heritage

We are pleased to announce that for the second year in a row the Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) is providing financial support for this, the 11th year of the Prize.


The Giller Prize awards $25,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. The 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.