Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So, as many of you know, the finalists for the Governor General's Award for Fiction were announced yesterday. And of course the Giller Prize finalists were announced at the beginning of the month. And now let the prize committee catfights begin!
The Governor General's Award for literature's fiction award has had to compete with the glitzier Giller Prize since the latter award was created in 1994. But the two shortlists were decidedly different, with only [Montreal writer Rawi Hage's debut novel] De Niro's Game making both lists.
Fair enough. Different strokes for different folks, right? Oho, but what have we here?
"I have a strong suspicion the Giller Prize did not look at three of the books that made our shortlist because otherwise I don't see how they could have passed them over," said [author and Governor General's Award juror Leon] Rooke...

If you're not able to follow any of this, I don't blame you. Neither can I, what with not having read ANY of the novels on either shortlist and all. But that's okay. If you're in Vancouver, you can get up to speed quickly, because the International Writers & Readers Festival starts today, and a few of the shortlisted authors from both lists are in attendance, including GaƩtan Soucy, Rawi Hage, and Bill Gaston.

If you want to shake things up a bit, I'd also recommend checking out David Sedaris, Anita Rau Badami, and Lisa Moore, as well as spoken word poet Shane Koyczan (and I'm not a person who recommends spoken word lightly). No word yet on whether Jackie Collins will be in attendance, but I think they're hashing out the final details of her rider. Apparently her chihuahua hates blue M&Ms.


Kailana said...

I hadn't heard of any of the GG nominees either in fiction. I was just not cool with the fact that it is ALL men. I mean, come on. All the other awards this passed year have had both, so why no girls with the GG's!

And, you know, the only book I am considering reading is the one that is nominated for both the GG and the Giller.

Anonymous said...

David Sedaris should be made a reading mandatory.

Anonymous said...

Damn I hate Leon Rooke. We saw him both times we went to the Eden Mills Writer's Fest. He gave the most obnoxious reading I've even been witness to. It was a piece from his book Shakespeare's Dog--and he read it as the dog. Snarling, spitting, growling; don't imagine it to be funny because it really, truly was not.

Em said...

Bill Gaston taught a section of one of my classes last year. Couldn't get into his fiction workshop this year because--well, everyone wanted to.
Apparently he didn't know he'd been nominated 'till someone called to congratulate him on Monday morning.
Cue general chaos in the writing department.