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2012 Giller Prize Winner

They’ve just announced that 419 by Will Ferguson has won this year’s Giller Prize. On Sunday, the Shadow Giller announced that we chose The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler, though we did have 419 in our second place spot (okay, so I had it in my third place spot, but still). Kim once again shows…

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Nancy Richler: The Imposter Bride

When working through a list of books, it’s always nice to come to the best one last. That’s how I felt about Nancy Richler’s The Imposter Bride (2012), my fifth and final read of this year’s Giller Prize shortlist. What I found here may not have been entirely to my tastes (I’ll get into…

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We have started a Facebook page where, along with links to our reviews and podcasts, we will be posting various things we find interesting online. Please click the like button on the right-hand sidebar to follow us there.

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Will Ferguson: 419

Will Ferguson is best known as a travel writer, and here he puts his experiences roaming around the world together in a global, political thriller, that isn’t particularly thrilling, and I know some people have issues with it being “global,” particularly as it writes of the experiences of an African…

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2012 Shadow Giller Announced!

Head on over to Kevinfromcanada to see what we chose as this year’s Shadow Giller winner. Here’s a hint: it’s one I haven’t reviewed yet, and it was my top choice too.

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Episode 2: Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts

At the end of 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s dream of setting up as a writer in London wasn’t becoming a reality. Struck with the idea, he decided to leave his troubles behind and walk across Europe to Constantinople as a tramp. He was only eighteen. World War I was barely…

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Russell Wangersky: Whirl Away

One thing I love about the Giller Prize is that they don’t ignore the short story. Each year I look forward to reading at least one short story collection due to its place on the Giller list. This year, it’s Russell Wangersky’s Whirl Away (2012), a collection of stories that take simple…

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Kim Thúy: Ru

After my response to Alix Ohlin’s Inside (here), I was wary to continue my Giller shortlist reading. None of the five books is one I would have sought out were it nor for the Giller Prize, though often I’m happily surprised with the discoveries the prize leads to. I was hopeful, then, that Ru (2009; tr….

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Kevin Barry: “Ox Mountain Death Song”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Kevin Barry’s “Ox Mountain Death Song” was originally published in the October 29 & November 5, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. I’ve only read one Kevin Barry short…

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E.J. Levy: Love, In Theory: Ten Stories

As I said when I participated in my first “blog tour” for Ron Rash’s The Cove (review here), I usually decline invitations to join these things. But sometimes a book comes along and you have to say yes. It happened again. Welcome to the final day of the blog tour for E.J. Levy’s debut…

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2012 Man Booker Prize Winner

They’ve just announced the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize: Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel I’m a bit surprised, but good for her for winning her second Man Booker Prize. She is only the third novelist to do it, following Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee (who should…

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César Aira: The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

Trevor reviews César Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. Read the full post.

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Callan Wink: “Breatharians”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Callan Wink’s “Breatharians” was originally published in the October 22, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. I really enjoyed Callan Wink’s The New Yorker debut last year, and am excited to see…

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2012 Nobel Prize Winner

This morning it was announced that Chinese author Mo Yan won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is the first Chinese author to win. Here is the citation: Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity…

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2012 National Book Award Finalists

They announced the finalists this morning. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 14. Fiction: This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Díaz A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers The Round House, by Louise Erdrich Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain The Yellow Birds,…

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George Saunders: “The Semplica-Girl Diaries”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.  George Saunders’s “The Semplica-Girl Diaries” was originally published in the October 15, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. I haven’t been as impressed with George Saunders the last few years as I used to be, but I…

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Alix Ohlin: Inside

Over the past month, Kevin, Kim, and Alison, my fellow Shadow Giller jurors, have been going through the books nominated for this year’s Giller Prize, and I was waiting for the shortlist announcement that came on Monday. It’s finally time I start digging into the Giller Prize shortlist! I do so by reading the…

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Richard Beard: Lazarus Is Dead

Late last year I saw a review for Richard Beard’s Lazarus Is Dead (2011) on John Self’s blog (here). John was surprised to find this book quickly become one of his favorites of the year. Knowing only what is recorded in the book of John, I was curious about a book focused…

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Lara Vapnyar: “Fischer vs. Spassky”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Lara Vapnyar’s “Fischer vs. Spassky” was originally published in the October 8, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. I’m running behind on my New Yorker reading, even though I’m genuinely interested in the last two stories I’ve neglected. And…

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2012 Giller Prize Shortlist

Today the Giller Prize shortlist was announced. 419, by Will Ferguson Inside, by Alix Ohlin The Imposter Bride, Nancy Richler Ru, Kim Thúy Whirl Away, Russell Wangersky  Because the Shadow Giller was very unsure about which titles would be on the shortlist, I’ve simply held off reading any up to…