Reading the 2018 Toronto Book Award
Five books on this year’s shortlist:
✔Dionne Brand’s edited anthology The Unpublished City (2018)
✔David Chariandy’s Brother (2017) *WINNER*
✔Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You (2018)
✔Lee Maracle’s My Conversations with Canadians (2017)
✔Kerri Sakamoto’s Floating City (2018)
Reading the 2018 Giller Prize Longlist
Guessing at each book’s Giller-a-bility
Since the prize’s inception in 1994, I have been reading the Giller Prizelist. I haven’t read all of the nominees; I have read 85 (of 127). Many times, this list has introduced me to writers whose works would become favourites. This is not the only prizelist I follow, but it does mark the beginning of my in-earnest prizelist reading season and I look forward to it each year.
The 2018 Giller jury (Kamal Al-Solaylee, Maxine Bailey, John Freeman, Philip Hensher and Heather O’Neill) announced its shortlist on October 1st. This year, I’ve been invited to join the Giller Shadow Jury, a group initially begun by Kevin Peterson, who blogged at KevinFromCanada for many years. Naomi explains how Kevin began his Giller shadow reading in 1995. In Kevin’s honour, the Shadow Jury keeps the conversation about the Giller alive in his memory. He and I began exchanging emails in 2011 about CanLit and I always wonder what he would have to say about the current Giller’s titles. Meanwhile, we read on.
✔Patrick deWitt’s French Exit
✔Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart (2012; Trans. Peter McCambridge, 2018)
✔Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black
✔Sheila Heti’s Motherhood
✔Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes
✔Paige Cooper’s Zolitude
✔Rawi Hage’s Beirut Hellfire Society
✔Emma Hooper’s Our Homesick Songs
✔Lisa Moore’s Something for Everyone
✔Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth
✔Kim Thúy’s Vi (2016; Trans. Sheila Fischman, 2018)
✔Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed
Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Governor General’s Literary Award
Fiction in English
Recent Prizelist and Event Reading
Even when I didn’t live in Toronto, I still watched this prizelist for books set in the city that I hoped to call home someday.
The International Festival of Authors brought me to Toronto many times before I actually moved to the city. It remains a favourite!
The ReLit Awards peer more closely at the books that are sometimes overlooked, those from smaller and independent presses.