2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

The Giller Prize shortlist is out! The Shadow Jury will be reading and reviewing these books over the course of the next 6 weeks, and will be choosing a shadow winner a few days before the official Giller Prize announcement on November 19th.

Patrick deWitt for his novel French Exit, published by House of Anansi Press

My Thoughts: I’m looking forward to this one – I haven’t read one of his books since The Sisters Brothers.

My Review

Eric Dupont for his novel Songs for the Cold of Heart, translated by Peter McCambridge, published by QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books

My Thoughts: I might be most intrigued by this one. I love seeing small publishers represented.

My Review

Esi Edugyan for her novel Washington Black, published by Patrick Crean Editions, an imprint of HarperCollins Canada

My Thoughts: It was not a surprise to see this one on the list – it’s also a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. (And I love the octopus on the cover!)

My Review

Sheila Heti for her novel Motherhood, published by Knopf Canada

My Thoughts: I have never read anything by Sheila Heti before, but I’ve heard good things and not-so-good. Rebecca loved it, so I will go into it with an open mind.

My Review

Thea Lim for her novel An Ocean of Minutes, published by Viking Canada

My Thoughts: Flu pandemic and time travel? This sounds like fun!

My Review

Have you read any of these? Are there any here that you think shouldn’t be? Any that should be, but aren’t? Thoughts? Predictions?

38 thoughts on “2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

  1. Bellezza says:

    I have Songs For A Cold Heart sent by the publisher and Washington Black long awaited from the library. It’s interesting to see that one appear on so many loats right now!

    • Naomi says:

      Washington Black is everywhere right now, and it’s nice to see readers are liking it and not just the juries!
      I’ll be very interested in hearing your thoughts on Songs for a Cold Heart, once you get to it!

  2. Rebecca Foster says:

    My library holds on the de Witt and Edugyan books both came in at once! I’ll be picking them up on Friday and hope I can get to both before the deadline, as they’re sure to be requested after me. I’ll look forward to your reviews and comparing what we think about these and Heti 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      You’re ahead of me! But I’m next in line for both of those. The Heti is proving a little harder to get my hands on…
      After reading several blogger reviews, I’m really curious to see where I’ll sit with Motherhood.

  3. TheLiterary Hoarders says:

    I’m reading Songs for the Cold of Heart right now. I’m enjoying the heck out of it! It was also named this morning as a GG Books finalist in Translation. Yay! I’m so happy this one made the Giller shortlist too. It’s very John Irving-esque so far, so that’s happy making for me.

    The next on this list I’m most interested in reading would be Washington Black, but seeing that The Red Word by Sarah Henstra and Women Talking by Miriam Toews were named finalists in the GG Books for fiction makes me really want to read those first….I have both on my shelf. I think they are going to be incredibly timely reads right now.

    I figure it will take me most of October to read Songs for the Cold of Heart though! 😉 I don’t want to rush through it, and it’s pretty darn chunky!

    Really looking forward to hearing what the Shadow Giller thinks about each of these books shortlisted!

    • Naomi says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying Songs for the Cold of Heart – a must for chunky books!

      I’ve read both Women Talking and The Red Word, and thought they were both good. Just to warn you, though… The Red Word gets pretty graphic.

  4. A Life in Books says:

    By coincidence I posted my French Exit review today. Wish I could tell you the judges had tipped me the wink! I have a copy of Motherhood sitting waiting to be read. Looking forward to seeing what you think of them all.

  5. roughghosts says:

    I don’t pay too close attention to most prize lists any more, but the listing of Songs for a Cold Heart has me ecstatic. I’ve had it for months, but have had little time for reading lately, let alone a fat book. However, I read and reviewed his Life in the Court of Matane which was QC Fiction’s debut release. Knowing translator and editor Peter McCambridge and his hopes and anxieties about getting this small publisher attention, this is a huge boost and well deserved.

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks for your comment, Joe. It’s very exciting for them. And now to also be on the GGs for two of their books! I hope you get a chance to read it some time soon!

  6. The Cue Card says:

    I think Washington Black will win and will try to read it before Nov. 19. Having said that, I’m a bit bummed that the commenter up above wasn’t blown away by it. Ugh. Too bad. I really should read The Sisters Brothers which everyone seems to love.

  7. Kazen says:

    I’ve actually read a book that was nominated, yea! An Ocean of Minutes is speculative and time travel but ooo boy, I’m not sure it can be called “fun”. It’s a visceral look at the refugee experience, except that instead of escaping an awful place the main character has escaped an awful time. It’s a good book and I’m glad it’s nominated – just know that it’s a hit in the chest and things get a lot worse before they get better. 😅

    • Naomi says:

      Oh, that’s good to know! I obviously know very little about it. However, from what you say, it sounds like an interesting way to tell the story (which is still “fun” for me!) 😉

  8. JacquiWine says:

    I’m pleased to see Patrick de Witt here as I really enjoyed The Sisters Brothers. This new one sounds very different, but no less impressive. I’ll be interested to see how you think it shapes up alongside the others on the shortlist.

  9. Lynn @ Smoke & Mirrors says:

    Okay, so you’ve once again added to my TBR list! Songs for the Cold of Heart was the only one that didn’t intrigue me. The Sisters Brothers sounded way too creepy and dark for me, but French Exit sounds interesting,

  10. buriedinprint says:

    Lots of good reading here for sure! I was a little surprised that neither of the short story collections made it to the shortlist – either Paige Cooper’s Zolitude or Lisa Moore’s Something for Everyone – but they don’t win very often so perhaps they just opted for the serious book-length contenders. I think it’s funny that the twinning of bird flu and time travel sounds like it’s up your street!

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