Ian Williams is the Winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize
November 18, 2019
Photo by Kennedy Pollard
November 18, 2019 (Toronto, Ontario) – Ian Williams has been named the winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Reproduction, published by Random House Canada, taking home $100,000 courtesy of Scotiabank.
The announcement was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by Canadian singer-songwriter and actress Jann Arden and attended by 450 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. The gala was broadcast live commercial-free presented by Scotia Wealth Management on CBC, CBC Radio One and streamed live on CBCBooks.ca.
This year the Prize celebrates its 26th anniversary.
The 2019 finalists were:
- David Bezmozgis for his short story collection Immigrant City, published by HarperCollins Publishing Ltd.
- Megan Gail Coles for her novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club, published by House of Anansi Press
- Michael Crummey for his novel The Innocents, published by Doubleday Canada
- Alix Ohlin for her novel Dual Citizens, published by House of Anansi Press
- Steven Price for his novel Lampedusa, published by McClelland & Stewart
- Ian Williams for his novel Reproduction, published by Random House Canada
The longlist, shortlist, and the winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize were selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Canadian authors Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda (jury chair) and Canadian playwright José Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.
Of the winning book, the jury wrote:
Ian Williams’s 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.
Ian Williams is the author of Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone’s Anything, winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. He was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Williams completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Programme. He has held fellowships or residencies from the Banff Center, Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Palazzo Rinaldi in Italy. He was also a scholar at the National Humanities Center Summer Institute for Literary Study and was a judge for the 2018 Griffin prize. His writing has appeared in several North American journals and anthologies.
Listen to CBC Radio’s q tomorrow at 10 a.m. for an interview with Ian Williams and relive the gala at CBCBooks.ca.
Head to @Scotiabank on Instagram on November 19 for an Ask Me Anything with Ian.
Ask the author your questions about his book during a live Twitter chat hosted by @GillerPrize on Thursday, November 21 at 2 p.m. ET using the hashtag #GillerWinner.
I couldn’t be happier for Ian. His novel resonated deeply with the jury, evoking time, place and character that only the best works of art can achieve. I feel confident that this book will continue to find an even larger and more devoted audience across Canada and throughout the world.
– Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize
“Congratulations to Ian Williams for winning the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize! Scotiabank is very proud to be a part of raising and advancing the profile of Canada’s best authors, both across our country and around the world. We know that they make Canadians richer, exposing us to new ideas. Congratulations again to Ian Williams, and to all of the short and longlisted authors. Your words have touched the lives of readers across Canada and around the world.”
– John Doig, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Scotiabank
Partnerships and Sponsorships
The winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be honoured with a sit-down conversation and a reading at the 2020 San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival, on February 13, 2020, the second day of the five-day event. The winner, along with past winner Madeleine Thien, who will be one of the keynote speakers, will join five other internationally acclaimed authors for a week of keynote speeches, workshops, readings and round tables.
The winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be given an opportunity to explore, expand, and develop their practice during a two-week, self-directed residency in Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s exclusive Leighton Artists’ Studios. Located on Treaty 7 territory in Banff National Park, Banff Centre is Canada’s largest post graduate arts and leadership training institute (banffcentre.ca).
Air Canada is the official and exclusive airline of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Air Canada’s sponsorship helped take the finalists across the country and into the United States for this year’s Between the Pages tour.
About the Prize
The Giller Prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994, highlights the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. In 2005, the prize teamed up with Scotiabank who increased the winnings four-fold. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now 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 by her husband Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch, who passed away in August 2017.
Scotiabank is Canada’s international bank and a leading financial services provider in the Americas. We are dedicated to helping our more than 25 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 100,000 employees and assets of over $1 trillion (as at July 31, 2019), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.
About Audible, Inc.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ: AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio content, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 375,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving nearly 220 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served nearly 51 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 62 airports in Canada, 54 in the United States and 100 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.
Cineplex (TSX:CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. A leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex welcomes over 70 million guests annually through its circuit of theatres and location based entertainment venues across the country. In addition to being Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media), amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group) and an online esports platform for competitive and passionate gamers (WorldGaming Network).
To learn more visit Cineplex.com or download the Cineplex App.