The 1999 Giller Prize - Shortlist

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Bonnie Burnard
A Phyllis Bruce Book/HarperFlamingoCanada

Bill Chambers has come home from the Second World War with several fingers missing, but his will to restore his family life intact. The post-war boom and hope for the future colours every facet of life; the possibilities for Bill, a hardware store manager, his wife Sylvia, and their three young children, Patrick, Paul and Daphne seem limitless. In the following years of family rituals - weddings and funerals, births and holidays - the possibilities narrow into lives, etched by character, relationship, fate, and circumstance. Throughout the 50 year span of the novel, Bonnie Burnard renders one family's intertwining fortunes and misfortunes as everyone faces their own share of tragedy, joy, love, and loss.

Bonnie Burnard's Casino & Other Stories was shortlisted for The 1994 Giller Prize and won the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. Her first story collection, Women of Influence, won the Commonwealth Best First Book Award. She is the recipient of the Marian Engel Award and for two years served on The Giller Prize jury panel. A creative writing teacher and reviewer, she has been a guest lecturer at writing and literary conferences in South Africa, Sweden, Germany, and England. Born in Stratford, Ontario, Bonnie Burnard lived for many years in Regina and now lives in London, Ontario, where she was recently a writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario.

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Timothy Findley

Pilgrim is the story of a man who cannot die. Ageless, sexless, deathless, and timeless, Pilgrim has inhabited endless lives and times. The novel opens on April 15, 1912, when he is admitted to the Bürgholzli Psychiatric Clinic in Zürich, Switzerland, having failed - once again - in an attempt at suicide. There begins a momentous battle of psyche and soul, between Jung, self-professed mystical scientist of the mind and slave to his own sexual appetites, and Pilgrim - at first stubbornly mute - whose own unconscious is etched with the sufferings and hopes of his countless incarnations. Populated by a parade of historical and mythical characters, including Jung, Oscar Wilde, Leonardo da Vinci, and Henry James, Pilgrim is the story of a man's complex search for his own destiny.

Timothy Findley has received the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the Edgar Award, and the Chalmers Award, and is the only three-time recipient of the Canadian Authors Association Award, honoured for fiction, non-fiction, and drama. Among his nine novels, three short story collections, two books of non-fiction, and three plays are Dust to Dust, The Piano Man's Daughter (which was nominated for The 1995 Giller Prize), Headhunter, Famous Last Words, Not Wanted on the Voyage, From Stone Orchard, and The Wars. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada as well as Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. Timothy Findley lives in Stratford, Ontario and the south of France.

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Anne Hébert
House of Anansi Press

This is the story of Édouard, Stéphane, and Delphine, the spirited girl they find alone, and apparently lost in Paris. When the two men offer the young Québec girl shelter for the night, they become caught in the maelstrom of her swirling tales, her gusts of rage, and her engulfing loneliness. Stéphane falls quickly for Delphine, but Édouard is slower to accept her. He is disturbed by her abrupt arrival in his life, her strange accent, her excessive passion. Then, just as he opens himself to her exuberance and vulnerability, he is torn violently from her and left to unravel the mysteries of her sudden presence and absence. Originally published under the title Est-ce que je te derange?, Am I disturbing you? was translated by Sheila Fischman.

Anne Hébert's first book of poetry, Songes en équilibre, was published in 1942 and won the Prix David. Since then, she has written ten novels, four poetry collections, and three plays. Her work has been translated into many languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. A companion of the Order of Canada, she has won awards including the Prix France-Canada, the Prix Duvernay, the Molson Prize, the Prix Fémina, and three Governor General's Awards. Anne Hébert has recently returned to her native Québec after many years in France.

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Nancy Huston
McArthur & Company

The year is 1957 and the psychic wounds of World War II have barely begun to heal when Saffie, a distant and damaged German girl of twenty, arrives in Paris and takes a job as a housekeeper. Her employer Raphael, a brilliant and privileged musician, finds her remove irresistible. The two are soon married and Saffie gives birth to a son. Then Saffie meets Andras, a Hungarian instrument maker living in the Marais, Paris's Jewish quarter. That single meeting sparks their passionate affair and lives are changed in startling and unexpected ways. But even as Saffie and Andras struggle with their own scars left by Hitler's war, the brutal war for Algerian independence throws French society into upheaval and threatens to engulf them.

Nancy Huston is the author of seven novels and numerous works of non-fiction that have been published in her native Canada and her adopted France. She writes in both English and French, and her previous books have won the Prix Contrepoint, the Prix Goncourt Lycéen, and the Governor General's Award. The French version of The Mark of the Angel, L'Imprint D'Ange, won France's 1999 Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle and Québec's 1999 Prix des Libraires, and was shortlisted for the 1999 Prix Goncourt and the Governor General's Award. Nancy Huston was born in Calgary but has lived in France since 1973.

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David Macfarlane
Alfred A. Knopf Canada

Set among the islands and lakes of cottage country, Summer Gone explores the stories of three generations of lost summers: the girl in the blue bathing suit; the impenetrable and doomed camp counsellor with the shifting features; the wife who comes alive to the rhythms of a cottage summer but remains blind to the secret that will change her life irrevocably. But at its heart, Summer Gone is the story of a divorced father and a young son separated by the silence of estrangement, and how, during one extraordinary night on an ill-fated canoe trip, the silence is broken.

David Macfarlane is the author of the acclaimed family memoir of Newfoundland, The Danger Tree, which won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Non-Fiction in 1992. He began his career as a writer and editor with Weekend Magazine and has since been published in Saturday Night, Maclean's, Toronto Life, and Books in Canada. He is the recipient of eleven National Magazine Awards, the Sovereign Award for Magazine Journalism, an Author's Award for Magazine Writing, and recently won a national newspaper award for his weekly column in The Globe and Mail. He has written and produced a documentary and won a Gemini for his television work. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, David Macfarlane now lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

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