This is the 19th year that the Scotiabank Giller Prize has been part of Canadian fiction culture. The prize is one of the most honoured literary awards in Canada.
Founded by Jack Rabinovitch in to honour his late wife, author Doris Giller, the prize is one of the top Canadian awards for fiction writers. Today at Toronto's Ritz-Carlton Hotel the short list was announced.
Today's event was hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC Radio One. Ghomeshi will also host the Giller Prize Gala held on October 30 which will be the first time it will be broadcast live by CBC.
Rabinovitch said that 19 years ago there were 95 books submitted compared to this year's 142 books. He thanked the jurors for doing an outstanding job in selecting today's shortlist.
Jacqueline Ryan, Vice President Sponsorship and Partnership Programs at Scotiabank, said that "it's Scotiabank's belief in the art culture" that makes partnerships like the one with the Giller Prize work. "I am proud to support a healthy arts culture in Canada."
CBC Executive Vice President CBC English Services, Kirstine Stewart said that the CBC is there with readers celebrating books.
Jurors Anna Porter and Gary Shteyngart were at the announcement today and named the five books that are on the shortlist. They are:
Will Ferguson for 419, published by Viking Canada.
419 tells the story of the poverty of Lagos and the day to day of North America. Ferguson captures each detail with the skilled eye of a travel writer.
CBC Executive Vice President CBC English Services, Kirstine Stewart
Alix Ohlin for Inside, published by Anansi Press.
Inside travels through decades telling the story of the people within the pages of Ohlin's novel.
Nancy Richler for The Imposter Bride, published by HarperCollins Publishers.
Lily Azerov is the 'imposter bride' of Richler's tale The Imposter Bride. Lily's life and that of her daughter's Ruth is told from the horrors of the Holocaust to the comfort of life in Montreal.
Kim Thuy for Ru, published by Random House Canada.
Ru takes readers from Vietnam to Quebec in a narrative of the traditional immigrant story.
Russell Wangersky for his collection of short stories, Whirl Away, published by Thomas Allen Publishers.
Each story in Whirl Away stands alone telling the tales of people trying to cope, trying to change and trying to live.
The Scotiabank Giller Prize awards $50,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection each year. Each of the finalists receive $5,000.