Though I’ve been following the Giller Prize process over the past few years, it was last year when I made myself the promise that in 2020 I would read the whole list. Unlike the majority of other goals for this year, this one mostly went to plan. Mostly. Of the 14 shortlisted books, I’ve read 12 and still have plans to read the remaining two. As of Saturday morning, I have read all five of the longlisted books.
I imagined that once I’d met that milestone, I’d have strong feelings, knowing exactly which book I felt was most deserving of taking home the $100000 purse and/or which authour I would reward if the prize were mine to give away. In reality, what I have found was that I am no closer to picking a favourite than I was before I started.
In the weeks since the longlist was announced, I’ve attended at least two online events with each of the nominated writers and that hasn’t made it any easier to choose just one. In fact, I am firmly in a place of total neutrality. They’ve all grown on me as people and their reflections on their works have added to my experience of reading them.
These five books are truly great examples of Canadian fiction and I recommend them all for different reasons. They are (listed in the order that I read them):
Now, we’re one day away from the announcement of the winner and I can honestly say that I will be happy with whoever takes home the prize. And I will most certainly cry about it.
Watch the presentation November 9th on CBC (here’s how to watch go here) or join me at the Giller Light Bash to benefit Frontier College, a national charitable literary association starting at 5:30pm PST.
P.S. If you’re into reading and books, join me on my new Instagram page: carlyisreading.