Archives for category: Globe Books

The literary “season” is upon us, with award nominations coming thick and fast.

Below, a summary of my coverage for the Globe & Mail.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist was announced Sept. 3, the same day that Margaret Atwood was named to the Booker Prize shortlist in the UK (she was on both). Read my story here.

Then, on Sept. 17, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction shortlist was announced. For the first time, all five books in contention are written by women. Read my story here.

The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize shortlist came next, on Sept. 24. No Atwood here, but repeat appearances for André Alexis, Michael Crummey and Alix Ohlin, and a great morning for Canadian independent presses. Read my story here.

On Sept. 30, the Giller Prize longlist was whittled down to a shortlist of six. Past winners Atwood and Alexis failed to make the cut, but Michael Crummey and Alix Ohlin chalked up a second shortlisting each. The shortlisted six  – who hail from across the country – include a majority of writers who are successful in genres beyond fiction (poetry and drama). Read my story here.

I didn’t write about the Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlists this year, but they were announced on Oct. 2, when it became the year of Michael Crummey. He is the only author to appear on all three lists (his novel, The Innocents, is fantastic BTW).

 

Summer Reads 2019 Globe

 

Summer’s here! Time for some page turners…

My summer books preview for Globe Books is here.

emerging writers globe may 2019

Informal mentorships have always existed within artistic communities. In recent years, Canadian literary organizations have been formalizing the experience, and giving Canada’s emerging literary talent a boost.

My piece for Globe Books, with gorgeous illustrations of some now-emerged writers who have benefitted.

Thanks to the Writers’ Trust of Canada, RBC Taylor Prize, Canada Council for the Arts, and Diaspora Dialogues for talking to me about their work.

Online story here.

spring preview 2019 globe

As the days grow warmer and the nights draw out, there are still plenty of reasons to dive between the covers.

My spring preview for Globe Books includes 37 hot-off-the-presses titles for all ages and tastes.

Read it online here.

Songs for the Cold of Heart

 

For my latest “Should I Read It?” review, I talked about a novel that is buzzy in part by virtue of its obscurity.

Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart was a massive bestseller in Quebec, but its English-language translation (released in Canada in July 2018) was relatively unknown until it landed a spot on the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist on October 1.

It’s the odd-one-out on a shortlist filled with books that are already Canadian bestsellers in the English-language market. The Giller nod has given it a huge awareness (and sales) boost.

Should you read it? Here’s my review >> audio

And how is Dupont’s tiny Quebec publisher, QC Fiction, coping with the Giller spotlight? Here’s a piece I wrote for the Globe & Mail.

The Booker Prize is over (the Canadian in the running didn’t win, but Anna Burns’ The Milkman did, and by and large people seem to be pretty chuffed about that).

The Governor General’s Literary Awards winners have been announced (all 14 of them).
Here’s my story for the Globe & Mail.

And the Writers’ Trust has handed out seven literary awards and more than $260,000 at its annual Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony.
Here’s my story for the Globe & Mail.

 

Literary award season is in full swing. Some things are turning out pretty much as people might expect. Some things are a surprising surprise. Some things (ahem, Esi Edugyan + Patrick deWitt) are destined to become the the focus even when there’s something else more interesting to talk about on a list….

My thoughts on this year’s award season so far …

In the Globe & Mail:

The Man Booker Prize shortlist could have included two Canadians this year, with Esi Edugyan and Michael Ondaatje both longlisted. In the end, only Edugyan made it (as she did for her previous novel in 2011). To the disappointment of many, neither Sally Rooney nor Nick Drnaso (who would have ben the first ever graphic novelist to be shortlisted) made the cut. I contributed the part about British people enjoying a flutter on the Booker to this Globe & Mail piece.

The most high-profile of the Writers’ Trust shortlists is for fiction, but the Trust celebrates its fiction nominees alongside authors in various genres and at all stages of their careers. When their fiction shortlist was announced, I looked at how it fit into the bigger picture of what the Writers’ Trust does to support Canadian writers.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist was, for me, surprising in that it didn’t include Rawi Hage or Joshua Whitehead (so I was pleased to find them on the GG fiction shortlist two days later). Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart was probably the biggest surprise inclusion – though only because in anglo Canada people haven’t heard of it yet. The appearance of Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt, together again as in 2011, stole all the headlines (though it wasn’t the most interesting thing about the list).

The Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlists finally give the nod to Miriam Toews that many felt had been absent from other prizes thus far. Two Giller longlisted authors make the shortlist here. And small Quebec indie QC Fiction, newly in the spotlight after Monday’s Giller shortlist announcement, makes the translation shortlist.

On CBC Radio:

What’s notable about this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist and who’s on it? I popped in to to give listeners a run-down >> listen