|Awarded for||English-language Canadian fiction including translations|
|Presented by||Scotiabank and the Giller Prize Foundation|
The Giller Prize (sponsored as the Scotiabank Giller Prize), is a literary award given to a Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English (including translation) the previous year, after an annual juried competition between publishers who submit entries. The prize was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife Doris Giller, a former literary editor at the Toronto Star, and is awarded in November of each year along with a cash reward (then CAN$25,000).
On September 22, 2005, the Giller Prize established an endorsement deal with Scotiabank, a major Canadian bank. The total prize package for the award was increased to $50,000, with $40,000 presented to the winning author and $2,500 each for the other four shortlisted nominees. The award's official name was also changed at that time to the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
In 2006, the prize instituted a longlist for the first time, comprising no fewer than 10 and no more than 15 titles. In 2008, the prize fund was increased to $50,000 for the winning author and $5,000 for each of the authors on the shortlist. In 2014, the prize package was expanded further, to $100,000 for the winning author and $10,000 for each of the shortlisted authors. In 2015, the jury was expanded from three to five people.
Over the years, the Giller Prize has run different promotions to extend its recognition and support of Canadian literary talent to highlight all Canadian fiction eligible for the prize in a given publishing year. For example, the Crazy for CanLit feature, which highlights the initial list of all titles that are under consideration for the award's longlist and shortlist nominations, seeks to publicize Canadian literature by engaging readers and writers through social media tools.
Since its inception, the Giller Prize has been awarded to emerging and established authors from both small independent and large publishing houses in Canada.
Since Rabinovitch's death in 2017, the Giller Prize Foundation is now overseen by his daughter Elana Rabinovitch.
Following Vincent Lam's win of the Giller Prize in 2006, Geist columnist Stephen Henighan criticized the Giller Prize for its apparent dependency for its shortlists and winners on books published by Bertelsmann AG-affiliated Canadian publishing houses, all of which are based in Toronto.
Arguing that the trend towards centralization of Canadian publishing in Toronto has led to a monopolistic control of the Giller Prize by Bertelsmann and its authors, Henighan wrote, "Year after year the vast majority of the books shortlisted for the Giller came from the triumvirate of publishers owned by the Bertelsmann Group: Knopf Canada, Doubleday Canada and Random House Canada. Like the three musketeers, this trio is in fact a quartet: Bertelsmann also owns 25 percent of McClelland & Stewart, and now manages M&S’s marketing." Henighan added that all of the Giller Prize winners from 1994 to 2004, with the exception of Mordecai Richler, lived within a two-hour drive of downtown Toronto.
In 2010, there was much talk about how small presses dominated that year’s shortlist. Montrealer Johanna Skibsrud won the Giller Prize that year for her novel The Sentimentalists, published by independent Gaspereau Press. The company produces books using a 1960s offset printing press and hand-bindery equipment. As a result, while there was great demand for the book in the marketplace, the publisher had trouble keeping up with production. In the end, they turned to Douglas & McIntyre, a large West-coast publisher, to print copies of the book.
The Gaspereau situation prompted an examination within the cultural community about what makes a book and the nature of publishing and marketing books. The book also became the top-selling title for Kobo eReaders, outselling even George W. Bush's memoir Decision Points.
Nominees and winners
In 2006, the Giller Prize publicized its preliminary longlist for the first time.
- David Adams Richards, The Friends of Meager Fortune
- Caroline Adderson, Pleased to Meet You
- Todd Babiak, The Garneau Block
- Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
- Douglas Coupland, jPod
- Alan Cumyn, The Famished Lover
- Rawi Hage, De Niro's Game
- Kenneth J. Harvey, Inside
- Wayne Johnston, The Custodian of Paradise
- Vincent Lam, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
- Annette Lapointe, Stolen
- Pascale Quiviger, The Perfect Circle
- Gaétan Soucy, The Immaculate Conception
- Russell Wangersky, The Hour of Bad Decisions
- Carol Windley, Home Schooling
- David Chariandy, Soucouyant
- Sharon English, Zero Gravity
- Barbara Gowdy, Helpless
- Elizabeth Hay, Late Nights on Air
- Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes
- Paulette Jiles, Stormy Weather
- D. R. MacDonald, Lauchlin of the Bad Heart
- Claire Mulligan, The Reckoning of Boston Jim
- Mary Novik, Conceit
- Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero
- Daniel Poliquin, A Secret Between Us (translated by Donald Winkler)
- M. G. Vassanji, The Assassin's Song
- Michael Winter, The Architects Are Here
- Richard B. Wright, October
- Alissa York, Effigy
- David Adams Richards, The Lost Highway
- David Bergen, The Retreat
- Joseph Boyden, Through Black Spruce
- Austin Clarke, More
- Anthony De Sa, Barnacle Love
- Emma Donoghue, The Sealed Letter
- Marina Endicott, Good to a Fault
- Steven Galloway, The Cellist of Sarajevo
- Rawi Hage, Cockroach
- Kenneth J. Harvey, Blackstrap Hawco
- Patrick Lane, Red Dog, Red Dog
- Pasha Malla, The Withdrawal Method
- Paul Quarrington, The Ravine
- Nino Ricci, The Origin of Species
- Mary Swan, The Boys in the Trees
- Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
- Martha Baillie, The Incident Report
- Kim Echlin, The Disappeared
- Claire Holden Rothman, The Heart Specialist
- Paulette Jiles, The Color of Lightning
- Jeanette Lynes, The Factory Voice
- Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean
- Linden MacIntyre, The Bishop's Man
- Colin McAdam, Fall
- Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault
- Shani Mootoo, Valmiki’s Daughter
- Kate Pullinger, The Mistress of Nothing
- David Bergen, The Matter With Morris
- Douglas Coupland, Player One
- Michael Helm, Cities of Refuge
- Alexander MacLeod, Light Lifting
- Avner Mandelman, The Debba
- Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists
- Sarah Selecky, This Cake is for the Party
- Johanna Skibsrud, The Sentimentalists
- Cordelia Strube, Lemon
- Joan Thomas, Curiosity
- Jane Urquhart, Sanctuary Line
- Dianne Warren, Cool Water
- Kathleen Winter, Annabel
In 2011, the Giller Prize committee incorporated a Readers' Choice process into its longlist for the first time, allowing members of the general public to nominate and make the case for books of their own choosing, from which the winning book would be included in the long list. The Readers' Choice selection was Myrna Dey's novel Extensions.
- David Bezmozgis, The Free World
- Clark Blaise, The Meagre Tarmac
- Michael Christie, The Beggar's Garden
- Lynn Coady, The Antagonist
- Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers
- Myrna Dey, Extensions
- Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues
- Marina Endicott, The Little Shadows
- Zsuzsi Gartner, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
- Genni Gunn, Solitaria
- Pauline Holdstock, Into the Heart of the Country
- Wayne Johnston, A World Elsewhere
- Dany Laferrière, The Return (translation by David Homel)
- Suzette Mayr, Monoceros
- Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table
- Guy Vanderhaeghe, A Good Man
- Alexi Zentner, Touch
- Marjorie Celona, Y
- Lauren B. Davis, Our Daily Bread
- Cary Fagan, My Life Among the Apes
- Will Ferguson, 419
- Robert Hough, Dr. Brinkley's Tower
- Billie Livingston, One Good Hustle
- Annabel Lyon, The Sweet Girl
- Alix Ohlin, Inside
- Katrina Onstad, Everybody Has Everything
- C.S. Richardson, The Emperor of Paris
- Nancy Richler, The Impostor Bride
- Kim Thúy, Ru
- Russell Wangersky, Whirl Away
- Dennis Bock, Going Home Again
- Joseph Boyden, The Orenda
- Lynn Coady, Hellgoing
- Craig Davidson, Cataract City
- Elisabeth de Mariaffi, How to Get Along With Women
- David Gilmour, Extraordinary
- Wayne Grady, Emancipation Day
- Louis Hamelin, October 1970 (translation by Wayne Grady)
- Wayne Johnston, The Son of a Certain Woman
- Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs
- Lisa Moore, Caught
- Dan Vyleta, The Crooked Maid
- Michael Winter, Minister Without Portfolio
- Arjun Basu, Waiting for the Man
- David Bezmozgis, The Betrayers
- Rivka Galchen, American Innovations
- Frances Itani, Tell
- Jennifer LoveGrove, Watch How We Walk
- Sean Michaels, Us Conductors
- Shani Mootoo, Moving Forwards Sideways Like a Crab
- Heather O'Neill, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night
- Kathy Page, Paradise and Elsewhere
- Claire Holden Rothman, My October
- Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows
- Padma Viswanathan, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao
- André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs
- Samuel Archibald, Arvida (translated by Donald Winkler)
- Michael Christie, If I Fall, If I Die
- Rachel Cusk, Outline
- Patrick deWitt, Undermajordomo Minor
- Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh
- Connie Gault, A Beauty
- Alix Hawley, All True Not a Lie in It
- Clifford Jackman, The Winter Family
- Heather O'Neill, Daydreams of Angels
- Anakana Schofield, Martin John
- Russell Smith, Confidence
- Mona Awad, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
- Gary Barwin, Yiddish for Pirates
- Andrew Battershill, Pillow
- David Bergen, Stranger
- Emma Donoghue, The Wonder
- Catherine Leroux, The Party Wall (translated by Lazer Lederhendler)
- Kathy Page, The Two of Us
- Susan Perly, Death Valley
- Kerry Lee Powell, Willem De Kooning's Paintbrush
- Steven Price, By Gaslight
- Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
- Zoe Whittall, The Best Kind of People
- David Chariandy, Brother
- Rachel Cusk, Transit
- David Demchuk, The Bone Mother
- Joel Thomas Hynes, We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night
- Andrée A. Michaud, Boundary (translated by Donald Winkler)
- Josip Novakovich, Tumbleweed
- Ed O'Loughlin, Minds of Winter
- Zoey Leigh Peterson, Next Year, For Sure
- Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square
- Eden Robinson, Son of a Trickster
- Deborah Willis, The Dark and Other Love Stories
- Michelle Winters, I Am a Truck
Longlist to be announced: September 17, 2018
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- Stephen Henighan (2006). "Kingmakers". Geist. Archived from the original on 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Shinan Govani (2007-02-28). "An anti-Giller gadfly in Guelph". National Post. Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
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- Gaspereau Press Background
- John Barber (2010-11-10). "Author's angst grows over unavailability of Giller winner". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
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- "Sean Michaels awarded Giller Prize for his book ‘Us Conductors’". The Globe and Mail, November 10, 2014.
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