This morning the Giller Prize longlist was annonced, and the Shadow Giller is ready. Here are the books:

  • David Bezmozgis: The Free World (available in the U.S.)
  • Clarke Blaise: The Meagre Tarmac* (available in the U.S.)
  • Lynn Coady: The Antagonist
  • Michael Christie: The Beggar’s Garden*
  • Patrick deWitt: The Sisters Brothers (available in the U.S.)
  • Myrna Dey: Extensions** (limited availability in the U.S.)
  • Esi Edugyan: Half-Blood Blues (despite its Booker longlisting and now shortlisting, still no sign of this one being available in the U.S.)
  • Marina Endicott: The Little Shadows
  • Zsuzsi Gartner: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives*
  • Genni Gunn: Solitaria (available in the U.S.)
  • Pauline Holdstock: Into the Heart of the Country
  • Wayne Johnston: A World Elsewhere
  • Dany Laferrière: The Return
  • Suzette Mayr: Monoceros (might be available in the U.S. later this month)
  • Michael Ondaatje: The Cat’s Table (available in the U.S. as of October 4, 2011)
  • Guy Vanderhaeghe: A Good Man (available in the U.S. as of January 3, 2012)
  • Alexi Zentner: Touch (available in the U.S.)

* = Short Story Collection
** = Reader’s Choice

Wait, that’s 17 books (three of which are short story collections)! The Shadow Giller has its work cut out. I have read two of the books already: David Bezmozgis’s The Free World (which I have yet to review on this site) and Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (my review here), which, along with Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues, was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this morning. I have on my stack Alexi Zentner’s Touch, so I’ll probably start there. Of the others, we’ve seen a sample of Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table in The New Yorker earlier this year (my post here), and I am thrilled to become acquainted with Guy Vanderhaeghe’s work. I don’t know much if anything about any of the others. I’ll do some digging through the day to try to find out which of these titles are available in the United States.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Shadow Giller, let me point to the write up by KevinfromCanada, our chair, here. It’s my third year, and I’ve been looking forward to it since last November, when last year’s winner was announced. Kevin and Alison Gzowski are also back as the Canadian jurors. This year the Shadow Giller has shaken things up even more and will be joined by another international judge from across the sea: Kimbofo (who blogs here at Reading Matters).

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By | 2016-07-08T15:16:08+00:00 September 6th, 2011|Categories: News|5 Comments


  1. Lee Monks September 7, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I did read your comment as to this list looking ‘incredible’, and I can only agree. It looks like a top-drawer, serious list, and puts the Booker to shame. In my griping about the Booker shortlist on Kevin’s blog there, I was amiss in not at least sticking up for The Sisters Brothers a little, which I am enjoying, and which is clearly a superior genre piece. But Ondaatje, Vanderhaeghe, Johnston, Bezmogis: heavyweights (St Aubyn, Enright, Mars-Jones, Burnside etc) that give the list real heft. And a series of authors that I’m either vaguely acquainted with or look forward to hearing about, judging from the buzz. Different worlds.

  2. kimbofo September 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I’m excited about this list, too, Trevor, but sadly it looks like I have to read the Booker nominees, as they’re the only ones available this side of the pond! I note today that a couple of titles that weren’t available yesterday — Genni Gunn’s Solitaria and Myrna Dey’s Extensions — have suddenly popped up on Amazon (with limited availability), so keeping my fingers crossed this might happen to some of the others…

  3. Trevor September 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I’m excited about this list, too, Trevor, but sadly it looks like I have to read the Booker nominees, as they’re the only ones available this side of the pond!

    Doh! I hope that the shipments start coming to you so you can get to the other titles. I haven’t read Half-Blood Blues because I can’t find it anywhere in the U.S. and haven’t wanted to bother getting it from another source because I haven’t heard good things about it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be fighting hard for it when we deliberate the ultimate Shadow Giller winner!

  4. Colette Jones September 18, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I really liked Half Blood Blues, Trevor. To me, it is better than The Sisters Brothers overall. tSB is good fun and well written, but doesn’t offer food for thought. I’ll be interested to see what you think of HBB.

  5. BuriedInPrint September 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I’m really looking forward to reading Guy Vanderhaeghe this season too; I’ve had his books on the shelf for a few years now, but it’s my current obsession with the Giller longlist that has shifted him to the top of the stack.

    I was just checking here to see what you’ve read so far and it seems as though we’ve started from opposite ends of the shelf, but I’ll be saving your thoughts on these books until I’ve read them myself as the season rolls along. Happy Giller reading!

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