This morning the 2010 Giller Prize longlist was announced:

  • David Bergen: The Matter with Morris
  • Douglas Coupland: Player One
  • Michael Helm: Cities of Refuge
  • Alexander MacLeod: Light Lifting
  • Avner Mandelman: The Debba
  • Tom Rachman: The Imperfectionists
  • Sarah Selecky: This Cake Is for the Party
  • Johanna Skibsrud: The Sentimentalist
  • Cordelia Strube: Lemon
  • Joan Thomas: Curiosity
  • Jane Urquhart: Sanctuary Line
  • Dianne Warren: Cool Water
  • Kathleen Winter: Annabel

Remember, I am part of the Shadow Jury, explained here on KevinfromCanada’s blog. The only book I’ve read so far is the very enjoyable The Imperfectionists. You can read reviews of it, Cities of Refuge, and Annabel on KFC’s blog.

There are only a couple of titles available in the United States: The Imperfectionists and The Debba. That being the case, and since the shortlist is going to be announced in only a couple of weeks, I don’t know how many of the others I will get to, though I will be reading the entire shortlist.

I am glad that I don’t have to read Emma Donoghue’s Room. I just had no interest, despite its positive reviews and inclusion on the Booker shortlist. I am sad, though, that I won’t be quickly reading some of the other eligible titles KFC has been reading through the year. Ghosted and Far to Go look particularly good.

I would like to remind everyone how much I enjoyed reading for the Giller Shadow Jury last year. I didn’t like all of the books, but I loved the process and the exposure to books I normally would have skipped. Each book was interesting, and it showed me how strong Canadian fiction is. I expect many surprises this year as well. Stay tuned!

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By | 2016-06-19T01:02:50+00:00 September 20th, 2010|Categories: News|11 Comments


  1. Trevor September 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I should note that Cordelia Strube’s Lemon is currently available on Amazon, though it is not published by a U.S. publisher. Apparently Coach House Press, which is based in Ontario, has an outlet to the United States. Right now it says there is only one left in stock, but more are on their way — but who knows how available this title really is for those in the United States wanting to follow along.

    Incidentally, Lemon will be my next Giller read.

  2. Trevor September 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I also see that Douglas Coupland’s Player One is now listed as for sale by Amazon. It wasn’t earlier. So, who knows what will or will not become available in the near future, particularly with e-books, which is how I read two of the Booker books that were otherwise unavailable in the U.S.

  3. Trevor September 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    To go to the Giller’s official page on the longlist click here.

    To read KFC’s “masterful snapshots” (@GillerPrize) of the longlist titles, click here.

  4. Lee Monks September 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Another list to refer to when grabbing new author work – thanks! I do wonder how Coupland is thought of elsewhere – and I’m guessing the Rachman must surely be an early front-runner?

  5. Trevor September 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I haven’t read too much press about the prize other than what Kevin has written and what the official prize has put out, Lee, so I don’t know what book is a frontrunner this year. I know that Jane Urquhart has gotten great press, so maybe she’s the front-runner. I’m just anxious to read them!

  6. Lee Monks September 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I’ll get a copy of Urquhart in due course. I have had a look on Kevin’s blog. It all seems a bit more exciting than the Booker from afar…

  7. KevinfromCanada September 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Lee: Certainly it is a list that has more unpredictable books on it. That doesn’t make them better, but I’ll admit that I am approaching them with more anticipation than I did many of the Booker titles.

  8. […] The Giller Prize Longlist is out. (Kevin from Canada and The Mookse and the Gripes) […]

  9. Joe September 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Which of the Giller’s past winners do you think will still be read 10, 20, 30 years from now?…
    Come to think of it, which of the long-list’s 13 books will be read in future years? How many are merely this-year’s literary enthusiasms?…
    Joseph E.
    Montreal, Que.

  10. Trevor September 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Joe. While I appreciate your question, it is a bit of a trick, isn’t it? Certainly part of the appeal of the awards for me is to read what some consider the best of the year. Juries come and go, trends of style or topic come and go. Some of the fun is in tracking that.

    As for which books will last? Who knows what will be popular in the future, when there will be different trends of style and substance? Last year (I think) some publication or other published a list put together in the early 1900s of authors people thought would be read in 100 years. Not many were those we currently esteem, whether we or they are correct in a literary assessment.

    I think it’s a different question to wonder which ones deserve to be read in the future. For the Giller, I’m not the one to answer that since I haven’t read many Giller winners. I know many, including KevinfromCanada, would not hesitate to put A Fine Balance at the top of the list.

    At any rate, surely some of these books deserve more exposure right now, even if they don’t deserve it in the future. And it’s always a hope of mine that at least one of the titles on a longlist is going to become one I’d like to read in ten or twenty years.

  11. KevinfromCanada September 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Joe: I can actually give you an answer to your question — as part of last year’s Shadow Giller I reviewed two of the first four winners (M.G. Vassanji’s The Book of Secrets and Mordecai Richler’s Barney’s Version) and included links to the other two (Trevor’s review of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace on this site and Will Rycroft’s review of A Fine Balance at Just William’s Luck). I continue to average two hits a day on the two I did (and I would suggest the other two are more popular) so I would say all four of the first Giller winners are being read 15 years later and like to be read 20 years from now (the queen of the book bloggers, dovegreyreader, is reading A Fine Balance and loving it, promising a review soon). I suspect there are some that won’t meet such a positive fate (Bonnie Burnard’s A Good House, Austin Clarke’s The Polished Hoe, perhaps Richard Wright’s Clara Callin) although even these (especially Clarke) have a certain “cult” status.

    So I would say there is ample evidence already (given that the prize is only 17 years old) that the overwhelming percentage of winners will still be read 25 years later (since the evidence clearly shows that so far they are). The Giller seems to be having some trouble with their site and previous shortlists have disappeared, so you will to rely on my memory for this next part — I’d say about 75 per cent of the first year’s shortlists continue to be read (I should note that I have read all but 3 Giller shortlisted books in the history of the Prize). The Giller has only had a longlist for the last few years — my guess would be that about half the longlist books have shelf life.

    Overall, I would say that that is good evidence that the winners at least have merit that lasts well beyond fashion. Indeed, I can’t think of a single winner that would fit the “latest fashion” description (the closest for me would be Austin Clarke and those who love that book — and they are legion — would jump all over me for even saying that).

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