The 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its shortlist on Monday, October 2, 2017. The shortlist was revealed at the Scotiabank Centre in Toronto before more than 100 media and members of the publishing industry gathered for the unveiling at a special event hosted by CBC Radio’s Gill Deacon. Jury members André Alexis, Anita Rau Badami, Lynn Coady and Richard Beard were on hand to announce the 2017 finalists and read citations for each title.

The five titles were chosen from a longlist of 12 books announced in St. John’s NL on September 18, 2017. One hundred and twelve titles were submitted by 73 publisher imprints from across the country.


Read the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist.

Rachel Cusk was previously shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Outline in 2015, Michael Redhill’s debut novel Martin Sloane made the 2001 shortlist, and Eden Robinson was shortlisted for her novel Monkey Beach in 2000. Michelle Winters and Ed O’Loughlin appear on the shortlist for the first time. Also represented for the first time is independent publisher Invisible Publishing based in Picton, Ontario.




Photo credit: Siemon Scammel-Katz

Rachel Cusk

Transit
published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Biography

Rachel Cusk is the author of three memoirs – A Life’s Work, The Last Supper and Aftermath – and her novels include – Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones; In the Fold; Arlington Park; and The Bradshaw Variations. She was named among Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. Her novel Outline was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015. She lives in London.

Jury Citation

In Transit, Rachel Cusk’s elegant, witty and brilliantly realized novel, Faye, a writer, moves to London with her young sons and purchases a dilapidated apartment. On this deceptively simple scaffolding, Cusk constructs a series of finely observed and complex stories about people whose paths intersect with the narrator’s. The result is a book which is simultaneously intimate and expansive, alight with wisdom and humour, an exquisitely poised meditation on life, time, and change.

Excerpt

An astrologer emailed me to say she had important news for me concerning events in my immediate future. She could see things that I could not: my personal details had come into her possession and had allowed her to study the planets for their information. She wished me to know that a major transit was due to occur shortly in my sky.

View the full excerpt

Excerpted from TRANSIT. Copyright © 2017 by Rachel Cusk. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, by arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Ed O’Loughlin

Minds of Winter
published by House of Anansi Press

Biography

Ed O’Loughlin is an Irish-Canadian author and journalist. His first novel, Not Untrue and Not Unkind, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. His second novel, Toploader, was published in 2011. As a journalist, Ed reported from Africa for several papers, including the Irish Times. He was the Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age of Melbourne. Ed was born in Toronto and raised in Ireland. He now lives in Dublin with his wife and two children.

Citation

Bright moments from the distant past spring up beside dark moments from the present, things hidden – a death, a gift, a lost clock – come briefly into view and then disappear forever. In Minds of Winter, Ed O’Loughlin’s brilliant story of polar exploration, time itself is an Arctic: a mysterious dimension of sun craze and apparitions, chance encounters and destiny. The mechanism of this novel is fascinating to observe, its implications are deeply human. In O’Loughlin’s work, our desire for knowledge, our obsession with the past, our grappling with life itself … all of it is generously, wittily on display.

Excerpt

In a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, a valuable marine chronometer sits on a workbench in London, crudely disguised as a Victorian carriage clock, more than 150 years after it was recorded as lost in the Arctic along with Sir John Franklin and his crew in one of the most famous disasters in the history of polar exploration.

View the full excerpt

Excerpted from MINDS OF WINTER. Copyright © 2016 Ed O'Loughlin. Published by House of Anansi Press. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Michael Redhill

Bellevue Square
published by Doubleday Canada

Biography

Michael Redhill is a novelist, poet, playwright and former publisher of Brick. He is the author of the novels Bellevue Square, Consolation and Martin Sloane, which was a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize; the short story collection Fidelity; and the poetry collection Light-Crossing; among other acclaimed works. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Citation

To borrow a line from Michael Redhill’s beautiful Bellevue Square, “I do subtlety in other areas of my life.” So let’s look past the complex literary wonders of this book, the doppelgangers and bifurcated brains and alternate selves, the explorations of family, community, mental health, and literary life. Let’s stay straightforward, and tell you that beyond the mysterious elements, this novel is warm, and funny, and smart. Let’s celebrate that it is, simply, a pleasure to read.

Excerpt

My doppelganger problems began one afternoon in early April.

I was alone in the store, shelving books and humming along to Radio 2. Mr. Ronan, one of my regulars, came in. I watched him from my perspective in Fiction as he chose an aisle and went down it.

View the full excerpt

Excerpted from BELLEVUE SQUARE. Copyright © 2017 Caribou River Ltd. Published by Doubleday Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.



Photo credit: Mark Raynes Roberts

Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster
published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada

Biography

Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson is the author of a collection of short stories written when she was a Goth called Traplines, which won the Winifred Holtby Prize in the UK. Her two previous novels, Monkey Beach and Blood Sports, were written before she discovered she was gluten-intolerant and tend to be quite grim, the latter being especially gruesome because half-way through writing the manuscript, Robinson gave up a two-pack a day cigarette habit and the more she suffered, the more her characters suffered. Monkey Beach won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Son of a Trickster was written under the influence of pan-fried tofu and nutritional yeast, which may explain things but probably doesn’t. The author lives in Kitimat, BC.

Citation

Eden Robinson’s Son of a Tricksteris a novel that shimmers with magic and vitality, featuring a compelling narrator, somewhere between Holden Caulfield and Harry Potter. Just when you think Jared’s teenage journey couldn’t be more grounded in gritty, grinding reality, his addled perceptions take us into a realm beyond his small town life, somewhere both seductive and dangerous. Energetic, often darkly funny, sometimes poignant, this is a book that will resonate long after the reader has devoured the final page.

Excerpt

His tiny, tightly permed maternal grandmother, Anita Moody, had never liked him. As far back as Jared could remember, she'd watched him suspiciously with her clear black eyes. She never let him come closer than an arm's length from her, making him sit on the ratty blue couch while she sat in the kitchen of her small house near the Bella Bella Band Store.

View the full excerpt

Excerpted from SON OF A TRICKSTER. Copyright © 2017 Eden Robinson. Published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Michelle Winters

I Am a Truck
published by Invisible Publishing

Biography

Michelle Winters is a writer, painter, and translator from Saint John, NB. She was nominated for the 2011 Journey Prize and her work has been published in This Magazine, Dragnet and Taddle Creek. She is the co-translator of My Planet of Kites, by Marie-Ève Comtois. She lives in Toronto.

Citation

French or English, stick or twist, Chevy or Ford? Michelle Winters has written an original, off-beat novel that explores the gaps between what people are and what they want to be. For a short book I am a Truck is bursting with huge appetites, for love and le rock-and-roll and cheese, for male friendship and takeout tea with the bag left in. Within the novel’s distinctive Acadian setting French and English co-exist like old friends – comfortable, supple to each other’s whims and rhythms, sometimes bickering but always contributing to this fine, very funny, fully-achieved novel about connection and misunderstanding. And trucks.

Excerpt

The Silverado was reported sitting next to the highway with the driver-side door open just eight hours after Agathe had kissed Réjean on the front step of their cottage and sent him off fishing in the rain with a Thermos full of coffee, four sandwiches au bologne, and a dozen date squares. It was pouring so hard that as they embraced, the rain smacked loudly on Réjean’s enormous back. He blew her a kiss as he reversed out of sight, and she smiled and touched her lips.

He was lying to her.

View the full excerpt

Excerpted from I AM A TRUCK. Copyright © Michelle Winters, 2016. Published by Invisible Publishing. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Make note of these important
2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize dates

Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists

October 12, 2017
Calgary, Alberta (Wordfest at the National Music Centre)

October 16, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia (Vancouver Writers Festival at the Vancouver Playhouse)

October 26, 2017
Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax Public Library)

November 1, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario (The National Gallery of Canada)

November 6, 2017
Toronto, Ontario (Koerner Hall)

November 9, 2017
London, UK (Canada House)

Winner announced – November 20, 2017