It’s prize season again, kicked off—as always—by the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller long list. As is becoming the award’s habit, the 12-name long list covers the national literary scene, and in no way tips the jury’s hand as to the sort of book it really likes. This year’s jury—Canadian writer and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee (chair), playwright and TIFF’s VP of advancement Maxine Bailey, American writer John Freeman, English novelist Philip Hensher, and Canadian author Heather O’Neill—actually commented, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that their choices “sing about the erased, the immigrants, the oppressed, the survivors, the entitled.” That is, absolutely everybody.
There is one previous winner, Esi Edugyan (2011 for Half-Blood Blues), several former short-list nominees, including Rawi Hage and Lisa Moore, a clutch of newcomers including debut short-story author Paige Cooper and the already well-known Sheila Heti, and two translated Quebecers—past nominee Kim Thuy (2012 for Ru) and Éric Dupont, whose novel was hugely popular in French under the title La Fiancée Américaine. And one notable omission: Miriam Toews’s brilliant Women Talking. There are no tea leaves to be read in this lot, and more solid pointers to the eventual winner will have to wait for the short list’s release on Oct. 1.
The long list for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize:
- Paige Cooper for her story collection Zolitude, published by A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
- Patrick DeWitt for his novel French Exit, published by House of Anansi Press
- Eric Dupont for his novel Songs for the Cold of Heart, translated by Peter McCambridge, published by QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books
- Esi Edugyan for her novel Washington Black, published by Patrick Crean Editions, an imprint of HarperCollins Canada
- Rawi Hage for his novel Beirut Hellfire Society, published by Knopf Canada
- Sheila Heti for her novel Motherhood, published by Knopf Canada
- Emma Hooper for her novel Our Homesick Songs, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada
- Thea Lim for her novel An Ocean of Minutes, published by Viking Canada
- Lisa Moore for her story collection Something for Everyone, published by Astoria, an imprint of House of Anansi Press
- Tanya Tagaq for her novel Split Tooth, published by Viking Canada
- Kim Thúy for her novel Vi, translated by Sheila Fischman, published by Random House Canada
- Joshua Whitehead for his novel Jonny Appleseed, published by Arsenal Pulp Press