2008 Giller Prize for Fiction

2008 Giller Prize for Fiction- Premier Canadian Fiction



Celebrating canadian fiction writing but perhaps celebrating canadians love of reading. Everyone should read at least one! Enjoy..

Joseph Boyden
Viking Canada

Through Black Spruce is a novel of contemporary aboriginal life, full of the dangers and harsh beauty of both forest and city. When beautiful Suzanne Bird disappears, her sister Annie, a loner and hunter, is compelled to search for her, leaving behind their uncle Will, a man haunted by loss. While Annie travels from Toronto to New York, from modeling studios to A-list parties, Will encounters dire troubles at home. Both eventually come to painful discoveries about the inescapable ties of family.

Joseph Boyden is a Canadian with Irish, Scottish and Métis roots. His first novel, Three Day Road, has been published in 10 languages. The book was selected for The Today Show book club, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Award’s Fiction Book of the Year, the Amazon.ca/Books in Print First Novel Award, the 2005 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Boyden is the author of Born with a Tooth, a collection of stories that was shortlisted for the Upper Canada Writer’s Craft Award. Boyden divides his time between Northern Ontario and Louisiana, where he teaches writing at the University of New Orleans.

Anthony De Sa
Doubleday Canada

In stories brimming with life, the innocent dreams and bitter disappointments of the immigrant experience are captured. A young fisherman washes up nearly dead on the shores of Newfoundland. It is Manuel Rebelo who has tried to escape the suffocating smallness of his Portuguese village and the crushing weight of his mother’s expectations to build a future for himself in a terra nova. Manuel’s son, Antonio, is born into Toronto’s little Portugal, a world of colourful houses and labyrinthine back alleys. In the Rebelo home the Church looms large, men and women inhabit sharply divided space, pigs are slaughtered in the garage, and a family lives in the shadow cast by a father’s failures.

Anthony De Sa grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese community. His short fiction has been published in several North American literary magazines. He attended The Humber School for Writers and now heads the English department and directs the creative writing program at a high school for the arts. Barnacle Love is his first book and he is currently at work on a novel. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three sons.

Marina Endicott
Freehand Books/Broadview Press

Absorbed in her own failings, Clara Purdy crashes her life into a sharp left turn, taking the young family in the other car along with her. When bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer, Clara – against all habit and comfort – moves the three children and their terrible grandmother into her own house.  In Good to a Fault, Clara decides to give it a try, and then has to cope with the consequences: exhaustion, fury, hilarity, and unexpected love. But she must question her own motives. Is she acting out of true goodness, or out of guilt?

Marina Endicott was born in Golden, BC and grew up in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She worked as an actor and director before moving to London, England, where she began to write fiction. Since returning to Canada in 1984, Endicott has worked as Dramaturge at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre and Associate Dramaturge at the Banff Centre’s Playwrights Colony. She now teaches creative writing at the University of Alberta. Endicott’s first novel, Open Arms, was nominated for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel award in 2002 and serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Her stories have been shortlisted for both the Journey Prize and the Western Magazine Awards. She is currently at work on a novel about the Bell Auroras, a sister-trio vaudeville act that toured the Canadian prairies in 1909.

Rawi Hage
House of Anasi Press

The novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal's restless immigrant community, where a self-described "thief" has just tried but failed to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a local park. Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend sessions with a well-intentioned but naïve therapist. This sets the story in motion, leading us back to the narrator's violent childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a tale, and out into the frozen night-time streets of Montreal, where the thief survives on the edge, imagining himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged, but wilfully blind, citizens who surround him.

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war during the 1970’s. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. Hage is a writer, visual artist and a curator. His first book, De Niro’s Game, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award, and won numerous awards, including the Prix des libraires du Québec and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for the best English-language book. De Niro’s Game is now published in 15 countries and several languages. Rawi Hage lives in Montreal.

Mary Swan
Henry Holt/H.B. Fenn

Newly arrived to the countryside, William Heath, his wife, and two daughters appear the picture of a devoted family. But when accusations of embezzlement spur William to commit an unthinkable crime, those who witnessed this affectionate, attentive father go about his routine of work and family must reconcile action with character. A doctor who has cared for one daughter, encouraging her trust, examines the finer details of his brief interactions with William, searching for clues that might penetrate the mystery of his motivation. Meanwhile the other daughter's teacher grapples with guilt over a moment when fate wove her into a succession of events that will haunt her dreams.

Mary Swan is the winner of the 2001 O. Henry Award for short fiction and is the author of the collection The Deep and Other Stories published by Random House. Her work has appeared in several Canadian literary magazines, including the Malahat Review and Best Canadian Stories, as well as American publications such as Harper’s. She lives with her husband and daughter near Toronto.

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