Category: Award Nominees
The 2011 Scotiabank Giller prize long list
was announced September 6.
In the following list, click on the book titles and scroll down the library catalogue page to see the book summary.
The Free World
* * *
The Meagre Tarmac
* * *
The Beggar's Garden
* * *
* * *
The Sisters Brothers
* * *
Readers' Choice winner
* * *
* * *
The Little Shadows
* * *
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
* * *
* * *
Into the Heart of the Country
* * *
A World Elsewhere
* * *
Dany Laferrière (trans. David Homel)
* * *
* * *
The Cat's Table
* * *
A Good Man
* * *
2010 Saskatchewan Book Award Nominees
The shortlists for the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards were announced several weeks back. Winners will be revealed at a gala ceremony in Regina on Nov. 27.
Here are the nominees:
The Forest Horses by Byrna Barclay
Summary: On midsummer’s eve, 1941, Lena, keeper of the forest horses of Gotland, is kidnapped by a Russian poacher along with her herd, and taken to Leningrad just in time to endure the two-year German siege of that city during World War II. Her captor, Pytor, becomes her husband and they and their horses take part in a daring and dangerous rescue effort that smuggles food and other supplies into Leningrad across the ice of Lake Ladoga. On one winter trip across this “Road of Life”, their daughter Signe is born into an icy world of strife, deprivation and horses. After the war, the family immigrates to the Canadian prairies to start a new life.
Waiting for Joe by Sandra Birdsell
Summary: After you've lost it all — job, house, savings, future —what have you got left? On a chilly early morning in late spring, Joe Beaudry and his wife, Laurie, wake up in circumstances that would challenge saints: they are on the lam in a stolen motorhome on the edge of a Walmart parking lot in Regina, Saskatchewan. Pushed to figure out what to do next, Joe simply takes off hitchhiking, leaving Laurie waiting for Joe, and Joe wondering how he will ever find meaning in a world that has disappointed his every expectation. The road for both of them provides surprising answers..
Welcome to Canada by David Carpenter
Summary: Get out of the house, get out of town, go west, go north, head for the wilderness and suffer like a true Canadian.
Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
Summary: Fate can take many forms. For Henry, a writer living in a foreign city, it arrives in the form of an envelope from a reader. Instead of the usual fan mail, the envelope contains a story by Flaubert, a scene from a play featuring two characters named Beatrice and Virgil, and a note asking for Henry’s help. The note is signed “Henry,” and the return address is not far from where Henry lives. When Henry walks his dog to hand-deliver his response, he is surprised to discover a taxidermist’s shop. And when the mysterious, elderly taxidermist introduces his visitor to Beatrice and Virgil—a donkey and a howler monkey—Henry’s life is changed forever.
Blue Duets by Kathleen Wall
Summary: Lila, a talented pianist and wife to Rob, has decided she cannot passively follow a score someone else has written in her musical career and her marriage. She struggles in her role as daughter to a mother who is dying of cancer, but finds that Kevin, a violinist and Lila s musical partner, helps to keep her love of music in tune through trying times. Lila s husband, Rob, has his own demons to conquer. A cynical history professor, Rob has been accused of harassment by his own department head.
Cool Water by Dianne Warren
Summary: Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-of-an-eye kind of town -- the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people -- and it’s easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets. Situated on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills, Juliet and its inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century -- old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead. But the heart of the town beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the foundling who now owns the farm his adoptive family left him; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning a fairytale wedding; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for one another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. Their stories bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid and enduring life.
2010 Giller Prize Shortlist announced
The five finalists for the 2010 Giller Awards, which is awarded to a Canadian author of a novel published in English, were announced yesterday.
The 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists are:
* David Bergen for his novel THE MATTER WITH MORRIS,
Phyllis Bruce Books/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
“David Bergen’s new novel is the portrait of a middle-aged man in crisis and in search of his own soul. Deft and understated, the novel grants Morris his full complexity: he has the epistolary ire of Bellow’s Herzog and the goatishness of Roth’s Zuckerman, but Morris is more tender and bemused than they, clear-eyed in his failings and wistful in his losses. Bergen has given us a wise, ironic portrait of our present, of the agonized dis-ease of one successful, thoughtful, liberal late-baby-boomer upon whom war and uncertainty have fallen late in life.” Giller citation
* Alexander MacLeod for his short story collection LIGHT LIFTING,
Watch for this book coming soon
“Rarely does fiction inhabit the body – the moving, athletic body – as fully as in Alexander MacLeod’s debut story collection. Whether describing what it is to run track, to swim against a current, to build cars or to haul bricks, MacLeod brings into vivid concrete language the physical experiences that mark us as profoundly as any thought. His stories are a careful marriage of the lyric and the narrative: each unfolds around a resonant, ineffable moment, replete with history and emotion, a Gordian knot comprised of all the strands that lead up to and away from it. Sensitive and subtle, MacLeod is a writer through whose deliberately partial and quotidian pieces shimmers life’s unspoken complexity.” Giller citation
* Sarah Selecky for her short story collection THIS CAKE IS FOR THE PARTY,
Thomas Allen Publishers
“Dry and funny, exact and exacting, the 10 short stories in This Cake is for the Party elevate economy of expression itself to an art. Story after story in this resonant and quietly apocalyptic collection deliver a sharp analysis of contemporary surreality and the madness of modern homogeneity. Its stories are tender, broken, deceptively unassuming then unexpectedly breathtaking. It holds its delicate oppositions - numbness and understanding, smartness and tragedy - with discipline and flair, and marks the arrival of a gifted writer.” Giller citation
* Johanna Skibsrud for her novel THE SENTIMENTALISTS,
“The Sentimentalists charts the painful search by a dutiful daughter to learn - and more importantly, to learn to understand - the multi-layered truth which lies at the moral core of her dying father’s life. Something happened to Napoleon Haskell during his tour of duty in Vietnam that changed his life and haunted the rest of his days. At the behest of his daughters, he moves from a trailer in North Dakota to a small lakeside town in Ontario where his family can only watch as his past slips away in a descending fog of senility. The writing here is trip-wire taut as the exploration of guilt, family and duty unfolds.” Giller citation
* Kathleen Winter for her novel ANNABEL,
House of Anansi Press
“Annabel is a beautifully told, fully-realized tale of a mysterious child gifted or cursed by a rare condition at birth. Though his name is Wayne, he is neither fully boy nor girl. There are only three people privy to the secret of his birth which engenders conflicts and contradictions about whom or what Wayne really is. An examination of human nature abounding with insight into the nature of gender, the spare, elegant prose compels the reader to engage utterly with the material. It is a startling first novel that is by turn touching, inventive and ultimately brave.” Giller citation
For more information see The Scotia Bank Giller Prize webpage
2010 Man Booker Prize Nominees
The shortlist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious English-language literary awards, was recently announced. Here is the long list of nominees, including Canadian author Lisa Moore:
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
Summary: Leningrad in 1952, a city recovering from war. Andrei, a hospital doctor, and Anna, a nursery teacher, are forging a life together. They try to avoid coming to the attention of the authorities, but their private happiness is precarious. Stalin is still in power, and when Andrei has to treat the seriously-ill child of a senior secret police officer, he and Anna are caught in a web of betrayal.
Parrot and Oliver in America by Peter Carrey
Summary: Olivier—an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville—is the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English engraver. They are born on different sides of history, but their lives will be joined by an enigmatic one-armed marquis. When Olivier sets sail for the nascent United States—ostensibly to make a study of the penal system, but more precisely to save his neck from one more revolution—Parrot will be there, too: as spy for the marquis, and as protector, foe, and foil for Olivier.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Summary: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It's where he was born, where he and his Ma eat and play and learn. At night, Ma puts him safely to sleep in the wardrobe, in case Old Nick comes. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she's been held for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for her son. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's desperation -- and she knows Room cannot contain either indefinitely...
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
Summary: A young man takes three journeys, through Greece, India and Africa. He travels lightly, simply. To those who travel with him and those whom he meets o...more A young man takes three journeys, through Greece, India and Africa. He travels lightly, simply. To those who travel with him and those whom he meets on the way - including a handsome, enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers and a woman on the edge - he is the Follower, the Lover and the Guardian. Yet, despite the man's best intentions, each journey ends in disaster. Together, these three journeys will change his whole life.
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Note: This title will be released on August 2, 2010 so please check back for the library's holdings.
Summary: Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results. Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost.
The Long Song by Andrea Levy
Summary: The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.”
C by Tom McCarthy
Note: This title will be released on September 7, 2010 so please check back for holdings.
Summary: Serge Carrefax spends his childhood at Versoie House, where his father teaches deaf children to speak when he’s not experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Sophie, Serge’s sister and only connection to the world at large, takes outrageous liberties with Serge’s young body—which may explain the unusual sexual predilections that haunt him for the rest of his life. After recuperating from a mysterious illness at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator. C culminates in a bizarre scene in an Egyptian catacomb where all Serge’s paths and relationships at last converge.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Summary: In 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company’s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to ...more In 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company’s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world. A junior clerk, his task is to uncover evidence of the previous Chief Resident’s corruption. Cold-shouldered by his compatriots, Jacob earns the trust of a local interpreter and, more dangerously, becomes intrigued by a rare woman – a midwife permitted to study on Dejima under the company physician. He cannot foresee how disastrously each will be betrayed by someone they trust, nor how intertwined and far-reaching the consequences.
February by Lisa Moore
Summary: In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the ...more In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns. It begins in the present-day, but spirals back again and again to the "February" that persists in Helen's mind and heart.
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Summary: Ruprecht Van Doren is an overweight genius whose hobbies include very difficult maths and the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Daniel 'Skip...more Ruprecht Van Doren is an overweight genius whose hobbies include very difficult maths and the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Daniel 'Skippy' Juster is his roommate. In the grand old Dublin institution that is Seabrook College for Boys, nobody pays either of them much attention. But when Skippy falls for Lori, the Frisbee-playing Siren from the girls' school next door, suddenly all kinds of people take an interest – including Carl, part-time drug-dealer and official school psychopath.
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Summary: At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.
Trespass by Rose Tremain
Summary: In a silent valley in southern France stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Aramon, the owner, is so haunted by his violent past that he's become incapable of all meaningful action, letting his hunting dogs starve and his land go to ruin. Meanwhile, his sister Audrun, alone in her modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life. Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London. When he sets his sights on the Mas, a frightening and unstoppable series of consequences is set in motion.
The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner
TITLE CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE. Please request through Interlibrary Loan.
Summary: The Sopranos are back: out of school and out in the world, gathered in Gatwick to plan a super-cheap last-minute holiday to celebrate their reunion. Kay, Kylah, Manda, Rachel and Finn are joined by Finn's equally gorgeous friend Ava - a half-French philosophy student - and are ready to go on the rampage. Just into their twenties and as wild as ever, they've added acrylic nails, pedicures, mobile phones and credit cards to their arsenal, but are still the same thirsty girls: their holiday bags packed with skimpy clothes and condoms, their hormones rampant. Will it be Benidorm or Magaluf, Paris or Las Vegas? One thing is certain: a great deal of fast-food will be eaten and gallons of Guinness will be drunk by the alpha-female Manda, and she will be matched by the others' enthusiastic intake of Bacardi Breezers, vodkas and Red Bull.
The Booker jury will whittle down the list to six names by September 7, 2010 before choosing a winner on October 12, 2010. The prize is worth £50,000, roughly $80,000.
2009 Finalists for the Giller Award
The five finalists for the 2009 Giller Awards, which is awarded to a Canadian author of a novel published in English, were announced yesterday:
Disappeared by Kim Echlin
Summary: A tale of cross-cultural love: A Montreal woman goes in search of her first love, who has left Canada for war-ravaged Cambodia.
Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
Summary: What would it have been like to sit at the feet of the legendary philosopher Aristotle? Even more intriguing, what would it have been like to witness Aristotle instructing the most famous of his pupils, the young Alexander the Great?
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
Summary: Father Duncan MacAskill has spent most of his priesthood as the “Exorcist” — a man employed by his bishop to tidy away potential scandal. While sent by his bishop to a contry parish to avoid a big media scandal, Duncan must confront his consequences of past cover-ups and the suppression of his own human needs.
Fall by Colin McAdam
Summary: Story of two boys, both sons of diplomats and students at a swish co-ed Ottawa boarding school, and what happens when one of their girlfriends goes missing.
Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
Summary: Set in both Egypt and Canada, the story looks at loss and redemption through an engineer and his wife.