The Scotiabank Giller Prize Presents its 2021 Shortlist

October 5, 2021

2021 Shortlist Announcement

October 5, 2021 (Toronto, ON) – Today, the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist was announced, celebrating five Canadian fiction writers and the 28th edition of the Prize.

The authors named to the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist are:

  • Omar El Akkad for his novel What Strange Paradise, published by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
  • Angélique Lalonde for her story collection Glorious Frazzled Beings, published by House of Anansi
  • Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia for her novel The Son of The House, published by Dundurn Press
  • Jordan Tannahill for his novel The Listeners, published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Miriam Toews for her novel Fight Night, published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

This year’s jury, made up of Canadian authors Zalika Reid-Benta (Jury Chair), Megan Gail Coles and Joshua Whitehead, Malaysian novelist Tash Aw and American author Joshua Ferris, narrowed down the 132 submitted works to 12 to create the longlist and today announced the shortlisted authors.

Read the jury citations about each of the shortlisted authors here.

For all media resources including author photos and book cover artwork, please visit

CBC is pleased to announce that Canadian actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and poet, artist, and performer Rupi Kaur will host the Scotiabank Giller Prize broadcast on November 8, 2021. The broadcast will be presented commercial-free courtesy of Scotia Wealth Management.

The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlisted books are available in accessible format for print-disabled Canadians through the National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).


“This year’s powerhouse lineup features five enormously talented Canadian writers. The books on this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist are wildly different but equally absorbing. The common throughlines are masterful storytelling and depth of literary expression.”
— Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize

“Scotiabank congratulates the outstanding authors named to the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. Scotiabank is thrilled to continue to support this celebration of excellence in Canadian literature. Through another challenging year, Scotiabank remains committed to supporting arts and culture, and the immense talents of Canadians across the country.
— John Doig, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Scotiabank

Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists will take place on November 4, 2021, at Koerner Hall. Hosted by Jael Richardson, it will be an hour of readings, questions, and answers, and will take you inside the minds and creative lives of the writers on the 2021 shortlist. It will be livestreamed on the Prize’s website and Facebook and YouTube pages. For more information please visit:

This year, a gala will be held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in downtown Toronto. Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the size of the gala will be greatly reduced in number and scope. The Prize’s main concern is the health and safety of those attending, namely the authors, publishers and agents.

Watch the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize on Monday, November 8 at 9 p.m. (11:30 p.m. AT, 12 midnight NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service, with a livestream also available on Listeners can tune into a broadcast special on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen.

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 4-fold. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic 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.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: “for every future” we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success 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 over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as at July 31, 2021), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
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, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog, 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. Watch the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize on Monday, November 8 at 9 p.m. (11:30 p.m. AT, 12 midnight NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service, with a livestream also available on Listeners can tune into a broadcast special on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen.

About Audible, Inc.
Audible, Inc., an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is a leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. content includes more than 630,000 audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible Originals. Audible has millions of members around the world who subscribe to one of 11 localized services designed for customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US. Audible members download nearly 4 billion hours of content annually and listen across a wide range of supported devices.


Media Inquiries:

Elana Rabinovitch, Scotiabank Giller Prize
T: 416-275-5418

Doug Johnson, Scotiabank