The shortlist for the Giller Prize was announced at a news conference this morning. Neither of the two excellent books that I was so pleased to see on the longlist made the cut (Stolen by Annette Lapointe, and Pleased to Meet You by Caroline Adderson). But since I have not yet read any of the five that did, I can't venture an opinion as to whether those omissions are an injustice. Clearly, I’ve got some reading to do!
The shortlisted books are:
1. De Niro’s Game, a novel by Rawi Hage, published by House of Anansi Press;
2. Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, a short story collection by Vincent Lam, published by Doubleday Canada;
3. The Perfect Circle, a novel by Pascale Quiviger, translated by Sheila Fischman, published by Cormorant Books;
4. The Immaculate Conception, a novel by Gaétan Soucy, translated by Lazer Lederhendler, published by House of Anansi Press; and,
5. Home Schooling, a short story collection by Carol Windley, published by Cormorant Books.
It's an unusual list. The Giller Prize is our glitziest fiction award—I think it would be fair to describe it as Canada’s equivalent to the Booker. It generally goes to a high-profile novel put out by one of the big publishing houses. Yet not one of the titles on this short list matches that description. Two of the five are short story collections rather than novels. Two of the five are translations, originally published in French by Quebec authors. And a whopping four out of five are published by small/indie presses.
I look forward to reading all five of the shortlisted books. The Giller Prize will be awarded on November 7th.