Giller Prize 2021

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Giller Prize 2021

1gypsysmom
Set 8, 2021, 11:08 am

The Giller Prize longlist has been announced and as usual I have not read any of them. There are a number I have been wanting to read so I think I'll put holds on them at my library and see if any of them make it to the short list.

Here are the choices:
Astra by Cedar Bowers
What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
Glorious Frazzled Beings by Angelique Lalonde
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onubia
A Dream of a Woman by Casey Plett
The Octopus has Three Hearts by Rachel Rose
Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng
The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill
Em by Kim Thuy
Fight Night by Miriam Toews
The Strangers Vermette by Katherena Vermette
We Jane by Aimee Wall

Have you read any of these? Any comments about the list? I think there are only two works by men on the list. Elana Rabinovitch commented on this in her remarks saying "There’s no denying the enormous impact of women’s writing on the literary scene this year." Do you think it is finally the time of women writers?

2Yells
Set 8, 2021, 12:07 pm

Female power!

I haven't read any but I have a few on hold at the library. I'm always excited when Thuy has a new book.

3vancouverdeb
Set 9, 2021, 6:20 pm

I started Astra but DNF, not because it wasn't good, just was not in a reading mood. I have The Strangers on order from the Library. I'm really keen to read that , as I enjoyed her book The Break. I'm not sure about the rest of them - I'll look into them.

4Nickelini
Set 9, 2021, 11:18 pm

I think it's an enticing list. I'm certainly interested in several of them, unlike most recent years.

5LynnB
Set 12, 2021, 2:05 pm

I haven't read any! That's a first.

6mdoris
Set 20, 2021, 5:22 pm

I read What a Strange Paradise and thought it was very good! For sure I will read Fight Night. I really like M. Toews writing!

7Yells
Set 20, 2021, 7:49 pm

I just finished Swimming Back to Trout River and We, Jane. I quite enjoyed both. A couple library holds just came in so I’ll continue on.

8gypsysmom
Out 4, 2021, 3:01 pm

Tomorrow the short list is announced. I'm looking forward to it.

9Yells
Out 4, 2021, 6:31 pm

Yay! I’ve now read four (Astra and Glorious Frazzled Beings plus the two above) and I’m working on The Listeners and The Octopus has Three Hearts.

10Nickelini
Out 4, 2021, 7:52 pm

>9 Yells:
The Octopus Has Three Hearts is a title that's full of awesome

11Yells
Out 4, 2021, 8:22 pm

>10 Nickelini: Right? The cover is pretty awesome too! Now let’s see if the stories rise to the challenge.

12gypsysmom
Out 5, 2021, 11:59 am

>9 Yells: You've got 2 of the short list under your belt, Glorious Frazzled Beings and The Listeners. Neither one is really calling to me. What did you think of them?

13gypsysmom
Out 5, 2021, 12:03 pm

For the record, here's the short list:
What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
Glorious Frazzled Beings by Angelique Lalonde
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill
Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Still haven't read any of them and Fight Night is the only one that I was previously interested in reading. Convince me to pick up the others.

14Yells
Editado: Out 5, 2021, 7:29 pm

>12 gypsysmom: Ugh! I wasn’t impressed with either. The Listeners was awful. I honestly can’t think of anything good to say about it. Glorious Frazzled Beings was okay. The individual stories were mostly good, but the collection as a whole was a jumbled mess. Usually there is some central theme/s linking them in some way, but I felt like a pinball bouncing around from one idea to the next. Maybe that was point… who knows.

15Yells
Editado: Out 5, 2021, 12:11 pm

I’m three stories into The Octopus has Three Hearts - this is definitely more my speed (except the part with the dog).

I loved El Akkad’s American War so I’m looking forward to this one. I’m hit or miss with Toews. And no Feng? That’s my favourite so far!

16Nickelini
Out 5, 2021, 12:23 pm

I bought The Listeners the other day and didn't realize it was even nominated. I hope I get on with it better than you did.

I agree about Miriam Toews, but when she is good she is fabulous.

17mdoris
Out 5, 2021, 5:04 pm

What Strange Paradise was very good! I just bought Fight Night and watched her interviewed on Powells/Zoom last night about her new book. In her real life she is living with 4 generations in Toronto. I have read most of her books and loved them or greatly impressed by most.

18torontoc
Nov 9, 2021, 7:33 am

What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad is the 2021 Giller prize winner! I didn't particularly like the CBC TV show- the programme has been better in previous years- I liked when "notable" Canadians introduced the books.

19Yells
Nov 9, 2021, 9:53 am

I completely forgot to tune in last night but checked the winner before going to bed. I figured it would be between this one and Fight Night. I enjoyed both so I was glad one of them took it.

20Nickelini
Nov 9, 2021, 10:53 am

>18 torontoc: I liked the part of the program where they had the bits on the authors' lives

>19 Yells: This book didn't make my radar, but my husband really liked an earlier novel by Omar El Akkad. I'm not sure he writes things I'm interested in, but I might give him a try

21Yells
Nov 9, 2021, 12:14 pm

>20 Nickelini: This one is a lot more accessible than American War but I like AW better.

22gypsysmom
Nov 11, 2021, 12:50 pm

>18 torontoc: By a fortuitous turn my hold on What Strange Paradise came through just before it was announced as the Giller winner. So I'll be starting it soon. I didn't watch the show because I still haven't read any of the shortlist.

23WeeTurtle
Nov 12, 2021, 9:24 pm

How do you pick which books to read when it comes to contemporary novels? Do you just read what makes the list? I tend to read genre fiction or authors who are already dead. I look at the "fiction/literature" section and get lost. I've kept and eye on a couple book prize lists for a couple years but haven't actually read anything.

24LynnB
Nov 13, 2021, 10:38 am

I always read the five Canada Reads finalists. Other than that, I'm not drawn to literary award winners per se. If I like the author and the story line interests me, I'll likely read it whether it's won a prize or not.

I like to look for new Canadian authors and literary fiction. Also, memoirs.

25Cecilturtle
Nov 13, 2021, 10:50 am

Oh cool! I actually work with Omar El Akkad's mom! She's a super cool lady and very discreet about her son's success... I don't know anything about him although I read, and enjoyed American War. I'm looking forward to this novel.