This Week in Canadian History – November Week 1

Scotiabank Giller Prize
http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/
Ahdaf Soueif and M.G. Vassanji in the Khalidey...
Ahdaf Soueif and M.G. Vassanji in the Khalideyya Library (Photo credit: PalFest)

Canadian citizen, M.G. Vassanji, is an author who won the first Giller Prize, on November 2, 1994, for English fiction – The Book of Secrets. He also received the $25,000 prize that goes with it.

This wasn’t Vassanji’s only award.  He’s also received Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1990; the Harbourfront Festival Prize in 1994; Also in 1994, he was one of a dozen authors to achieve the Maclean’s Magazine’s Honour Roll.  In 2003, he won another Giller award; In 2005, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.  (I am officially jealous!)  You can learn more about him from his Official Webpage.

But what exactly is the Giller Award?

The award is named in honor of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Jack Rabinovitch, and is sponsored by Scotiabank.  The contest is open to English-language Canadian fiction including translations.  In 1994, the award came with a prize of $25,000; today, the award is $50,000, plus $5,000 for each author on the short list.

Previous Scotiabank Giller award winners are:

* In 2000, the award was presented to two writers. This is the only time the Giller has ever resulted in a tie, and Rabinovitch has advised subsequent Giller juries that they must choose a single winner.
We are just days away from learning the 2013 winner.  Those on the shortlist are:

There are a few ways to stay on top of the news about the Gillar Award. The obvious place to start is at the Scotiabank Giller Prize Website. Then there are two social media venues, Twitter and Facebook. Finally, there’s also the Canadian Encyclopedia.

So on November 5, 2013, let’s raise a glass of water for not just the winner, nor just those who made it on the shortlist, but to every author out there who work hard to bring you the best of Canadian fiction!

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