The 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its shortlist on Monday, October 2, 2017.
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.
The winner was revealed on November 20.
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. (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. (Jury Citation)
Minds of winter
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. (Jury Citation)
Son of a trickster
"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." (Jury Citation)
I am a truck
"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." (Jury Citation)