The 1997 Giller Prize - Shortlist
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It's the summer of 1988, a year since Toss Raymond's marriage
went south and he made a public spectacle of himself by thrashing a neighbor.
Now, as he finishes what might be his last year
as a high school teacher, the school board gathers grounds for his dismissal,
and he must decide what he will remain true to: his troublesome desire
to follow his heart, or his need to stay true to the idea of 'home'.
At the core of this multigenerational novel are the shifting faces of Mala - adventurer and protector, recluse and madwoman. Told by Tyler, Mala's vivacious male caretaker at the Paradise Alms House, the story is layered with scenes of a world where love and treachery collide.
Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland and grew up in Trinidad. She is the author of a collection of short stories entitled Out on Main Street. Her work has also appeared in collections including The Skin on Our Tongue and Forbidden Subjects, and her poetry has been anthologised in The Very Inside. A filmmaker and visual artist, Shani Mootoo has also written and directed several videos, including English Lessons and The Wild Woman in the Woods and her paintings and photobased works have been exhibited internationally. She divides her time between Vancouver and Brooklyn, New York.
Vittorio (Victor) Innocente re-meets his half-sister Rita in Toronto, shortly after his father's death. Uneasy with their new proximity, Victor and Rita are at first restrained, distant. But gradually the weight of what is unspoken between them comes closer to the surface, setting in motion a course of events that will take Victor back to Valle del Sole, the place of his birth.
Nino Ricci was born in Leamington, Ontario in 1959. After completing his B.A. in English literature, he taught in Nigeria and travelled through Africa and Europe. He has also studied Italian literature at the University of Florence and completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Montreal's Concordia University, where he later taught. His first novel Lives of the Saints (1990) won honours including the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the F.G. Bressani Prize. The second novel in the trilogy was In a Glass House (1993). Nino Ricci, a past president of PEN Canada, now lives in Toronto.
Here is the life of Barney Panofsky, whose trashy TV company,
Totally Useless Productions, has made
him a small fortune and whose memory, in his sixty-seventh year, is definitely
slipping. With questionable accuracy, he recollects his three marriages
and his slides from crisis to success, from low to highlife in Montreal,
London and Paris.
Larry Weller's life spans the spontaneity of the seventies,
the blind enchantment of the eighties, and the lean, mean nineties. Told
in episodes that flash seamlessly between 1977 and
1997, Larry's Party chronicles the tribulations of Weller's two marriages
and divorces, his relationship with his parents and their private tragedy,
the birth of his son, the development of his career, and his agonizing
mid-life crisis in an odyssey that mirrors the male condition at the end
of the century.