Giller Prize 2021
Presenting the shortlist for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Which, we are pleased to see, includes Winnipeg author and former McNally Robinson bookseller Miriam Toews!
The winner will be announced on November 8th. For more details on the Giller Prize and to see the 2021 longlist (which featured three Winnipeg authors!), please visit the Giller Prize website.
- by Miriam Toews
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The beloved author of bestsellers Women Talking, All My Puny Sorrows, and A Complicated Kindness returns with a funny, smart, headlong rush of a novel full of wit, flawless writing, and a tribute to perseverance and love in an unusual family.
Fight Night is told in the unforgettable voice of Swiv, a nine-year-old living in Toronto with her pregnant mother, who is raising Swiv while caring for her own elderly, frail, yet extraordinarily lively mother. When Swiv is expelled from school, Grandma takes on the role of teacher and gives her the task of writing to Swiv's absent father about life in the household during the last trimester of the pregnancy. In turn, Swiv gives Grandma an assignment: to write a letter to "Gord," her unborn grandchild (and Swiv's soon-to-be brother or sister). "You're a small thing," Grandma writes to Gord, "and you must learn to fight."
As Swiv records her thoughts and observations, Fight Night unspools the pain, love, laughter, and above all, will to live a good life across three generations of women in a close-knit family. But it is Swiv's exasperating, wise and irrepressible Grandma who is at the heart of this novel: someone who knows intimately what it costs to survive in this world, yet has found a way--painfully, joyously, ferociously--to love and fight to the end, on her own terms.
- by Jordan Tannahill
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SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE FINALIST
A propulsive literary page-turner about a family torn apart by a mother's obsession with a sound that no one else can hear
One night, while lying in bed next to her husband, Claire Devon suddenly hears a low hum. This innocuous sound, which no one else in the house can hear, has no obvious source or medical cause, but it begins to upset the balance of Claire's life. When she discovers that one of her students can also hear the hum, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of people who also perceive the sound. What starts out as a kind of neighbourhood self-help group gradually transforms into something much more extreme, with far-reaching, devastating consequences.
The Listeners is an electrifying novel that treads the thresholds of faith, conspiracy and mania. Compelling and exhilarating, it forces us to consider how strongly we hold on to what we perceive, and the way different views can tear a family apart.
- by Onyemelukwe-onuobia
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SHORTLISTED for the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021 o FINALIST for the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2021 o WINNER of the SprinNG Women Authors Prize 2020 o WINNER of the Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah International Book Fair 2019
"The Son of the House is a compelling novel about two women caught in a constricting web of tradition, class, gender, and motherhood." -- FOREWORD REVIEWS, starred review
The lives of two Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they're kidnapped, held captive, and forced to await their fate together.
In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers' endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man's son.
Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.
When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.
Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia's debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man's world.
- by Angelique Lalonde
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Home is where we love, suffer, and learn. Some homes we chose, others are inflicted upon us, and still others are bodies we are born into. In this astounding collection of stories, human and more-than-human worlds come together in places we call home. Four sisters and their mother explore their fears while teeny ghost people dress up in fragments of their children's clothes. A somewhat-ghost tends the family garden. Deep in the mountains, a shapeshifting mother must sift through her ancestors' gifts and the complexities of love when one boy is born with a beautiful set of fox ears and another is not. In the wake of her elderly mother's tragic death, a daughter tries to make sense of the online dating profile she left behind. And a man named Pooka finds new ways to weave new stories into his abode, in spite of his inherited suffering. A startling and beguiling story collection, Glorious Frazzled Beings is a love song to the homes we make, keep, and break.
- by Omar El Akkad
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From the widely acclaimed author of American War: a new novel--beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving--that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child's eyes.
More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another over-filled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives in their homelands. And only one has made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials but of Vanna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though she and the boy are complete strangers, though they don't speak a common language, she determines to do whatever it takes to save him.
In alternating chapters, we learn the story of the boy's life and how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the girl and boy as they make their way toward a vision of safety. But as the novel unfurls, we begin to understand that this is not merely the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world, it is the story of our collective moment in this time: of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair--and of the way each of those things can blind us to reality, or guide us to a better one.