ABOUT THE 2011 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE FINALISTS
Bezmozgis, David | The Free World
published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from THE FREE WORLD by David Bezmozgis. Copyright © 2011 by Nada Films Inc. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
"This chronicle of the Krasnansky family, Soviet-Jewish refugees are stranded in Rome, has the strange immediacy of a family album where the photographs light up and start talking. The narrative is so often pulled backward in time, it evokes Sholom Aleichem’s proverb that "In Jewish thought eternity resides in the past." But The Free World is also a very modern, very hip, intellectually intimate, electrically comic novel, all the while a passionate re-telling of the most ancient sort of immigrant story, full of vicissitudes, nerv-wracking doubt and unforeseen joys. David Bezmozgis has done the near impossible - given us a story with pointillist detail as well as historically operatic dimensions. A truly magical writer."
David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. In 1980 he immigrated with his parents to Toronto. He received an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from McGill University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Harper’s, The New Yorker and The Walrus, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, 2005. Natasha became a national bestseller and was published to widespread critical acclaim. David Bezmozgis lives in Toronto.
Coady, Lynn | The Antagonist
published by House of Anansi Press
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from THE ANTAGONIST by Lynn Coady. Copyright © 2011 Lynn Coady. Excerpted by permission of House of Anansi Press Inc. All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. www.anansi.ca
"Lynn Coady’s novel The Antagonist is perfectly titled. Its main character, Rank, is hassled, cajoled and bullied by his hockey coach, classmates and most relentlessly by his own outlandish lout of a father into becoming a nearly twisted psychopath. Yet deep down he’s nothing of the sort. In middle age, Rank discovers a secret novel written by his university friend Adam, in which he is harshly depicted. Rank becomes a cyber-stalker, trying to correct in emails all wrongful indictments set forth in the novel. This zany epistolary life comprises one of the most eccentric and memorable autobiographies you’re likely to read. In this antagonistic tour-de-force, Ms. Coady shows us betrayal up close and personal. This author is a virtuoso of sympathetic edginess."
Lynn Coady is an award-winning author, editor, and journalist. Her previous novels include Saints of Big Harbour, which was a national bestseller and a Globe and Mail Top 100 book, and Mean Boy, a Globe and Mail Top 100 book. Her popular advice column, Group Therapy, runs weekly in the Globe and Mail. Coady is originally from Cape Breton Island, NS, and is now living in Edmonton, Alberta.
deWitt, Patrick | The Sisters Brothers
published by House of Anansi Press
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt. Copyright © 2011 Patrick deWitt. Excerpted by permission of House of Anansi Press Inc. All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. www.anansi.ca
"If you fear that Canadian literary fiction is becoming mortally po-faced, Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers might be the perfect antidote. Combine equal parts slapstick brutality, howling humour, and prose grace; slug it back neat, brush your teeth for the first time ever with the bemused wonder of a hired assassin on a half-blind horse; and repeat. deWitt has thrown the Western up in the air and brought it down new and strange and ferociously alive."
Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Ablutions, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.
Edugyan, Esi | Half-Blood Blues
published by Thomas Allen Publishers
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from HALF-BLOOD BLUES by Esi Edugyan. Copyright © 2011 Esi Edugyan. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Allen Publishers. All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
"Imagine Mozart were a black German trumpet player and Salieri a bassist, and 18th century Vienna were WWII Paris; that’s Esi Edugyan’s joyful lament, Half-Blood Blues. It’s conventional to liken the prose in novels about jazz to the music itself, as though there could be no higher praise. In this case, say rather that any jazz musician would be happy to play the way Edugyan writes. Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy. Put this book next to Louis Armstrong’s "West End Blues" - these two works of art belong together."
Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne was published internationally to critical acclaim. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Gartner, Zsuzsi | Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
published by Hamish Hamilton Canada
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from BETTER LIVING THROUGH PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES by Zsuzsi Gartner. Copyright © Zsuzsi Gartner, 2011. Excerpted by permission of Hamish Hamilton Canada/ Penguin Group (Canada). All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
"Readers who doubt the modern world is grotesque and hilarious, heart‐stopping and wild, may discover they are delighted with Zsuzsi Gartner’s wonderful collection of stories, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. From the specifications of covetable stereo equipment to the worries of the former terrorist, from the language of IKEA to gardening as warfare, this book shows the short story form at its savage best, each story capturing, with brilliant economy and grace, not only entire worlds but whole mindsets as they explode into eloquence. Gartner is one of the supreme noticers in contemporary fiction, and with this book she has produced a rare work of wisdom and laughter"
Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth and the editor of Darwin’s Bastard’s: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow. She is the winner of a 2007 National Magazine Award for Fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for her magazine journalism. She lives in Vancouver.
Ondaatje, Michael | The Cat's Table
published by McClelland & Stewart
Click here to read the first few pages Excerpted from THE CAT’S TABLE by Michael Ondaatje. Copyright © 2011 by Michael Ondaatje. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart. All Rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
"A beautiful mingling of memory and imagination takes place in Michael Ondaatje’s novel The Cat’s Table. It is the early 1950s, and a passenger ship, the Oronsay, makes its way to England over the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. On board is our 11-year-old narrator Michael, who eats his meals at the unglamorous cat’s table, where he joins a group of boys and adult eccentrics, all of whom have stories to tell and lives to live, or live down. The journey will change them all in ways that only time will tell. A mature, shimmering work of fiction, Ondaatje’s novel is rich in images, precise in its language, and wise about the way people can be haunted by their own experience."
Michael Ondaatje is the author of novels, a memoir, a non-fiction book on film, and 11 books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize; another of his novels, Anil’s Ghost, won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Medicis
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