The 2011 Can Lit Season

Tuesday, October 4, 2011  Scotiabank Giller short list
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Man Booker winner
Watch for Governor General’s finalists announced mid to late October
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Scotiabank Giller winner
Watch for Governor General’s winner announced mid November

With the announcement, this past Tuesday, of the Man Booker shortlist, which included two Canadian authors and the  revelation of the Scotiabank Giller Prize long list on the same day, the 2011 Can Lit season has most assuredly been launched.  For your reading convenience, I’ve compiled the pertinent lists and the dates that all true-blue lovers of Can Lit must circle on their calendars.

The Man Booker organization will announce the winner of its £50,000 prize from its shortlist of six authors on Tuesday, October 18, 2011.  Full length novels in English by writers of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe are eligible. The finalists are tabulated below, Canadian contenders in red.

  • Julian Barnes for The Sense of An Ending
  • Carol Birch for Jamrach’s Menagerie
  • Patrick deWitt for The Sisters Brothers
    • de Witt was born in 1975 in Vancouver, B.C. and now lives  in Oregon.  This is his second novel,  his first being AblutionsThe Sisters Brothers has been described as a comic take on the classic western.
  • Esi Edugyan for Half-blood Blues (review coming soon!)
    • Esi Edugyan lives in Victoria B.C.  Her first novel The Second Life of Samuel Tyne was published internationally to critical acclaim.  This is her second novel.
  • Stephen Kellman for Pigeon English
  • A. D. Miller for Snowdrops

It is also worth noting that Rohinton Mistry was a contender this year for the prestigious £60,000 Man Booker International Prize which recognizes a body of work rather than a single novel.  American Philip Roth was the somewhat controversial winner.

The Scotiabank Giller longlist for this, its eighteenth year, consists of the following sixteen jury selections, made from a record number of submissions:

  • The Free World by David Bezmozgis (review coming soon!)
  • The Meagre Tarmac by Clarke Blaise (a short story collection)
  • The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
  • The Beggar’s Garden by Michael Christie (a short story collection)
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (review coming soon!)
  • The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott
  • Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner (a short story collection)
  • Solitaria by Genni Gunn
  • Into the Heart of the Country by Pauline Holdstock
  • A World Elsewhere by Wayne Johnson
  • The Return by Dany Laferriere (translation David Homel)
  • Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
  • The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
  • A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  • Touch by Alexi Zentner
  • Extensions  by  Myrna  Dey*

*This year, the Scotiabank Giller Prize has polled the public through the CBC Canada Reads program.  Based on the results of that poll, Extensions by Myrna Dey has been added to the long list as the people’s choice.
The Scotiabank Giller short list will be announced on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 and the winner on November 8, 2011.

The Governor General’s Literary Awards for fiction finalists ($25,000) will be published in mid-late October and the winner announced in mid November.  You can keep tabs on books being submitted for consideration here.

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