- Jack Rabinovitch, founder of The Giller
Prize, is pleased to announce that authors Charlotte
Gray, Alistair MacLeod and M.G.
Vassanji will comprise the 2004 Giller Prize jury.
Gray is the author of four best-selling books of
popular history, including Sisters in the Wilderness,
The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill,
and most recently, Canada, A Portrait in Letters 1800-2000.
A graduate of Oxford University in London, Gray came to
Canada in 1979 and established herself as an award-winning
political commentator for magazines such as Saturday Night
and Chatelaine. She was also a regular political panelist,
appearing on CBC Television, CTV and TVO. Among her many
honours, Gray was awarded the Pierre Berton Medal for distinguished
achievement in popularizing Canadian history in 2003 and
won the University of British Columbia medal for biography
for her book on Pauline Johnson, Flint & Feather.
Gray is an adjunct research professor of history at Carleton
University. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and has
MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan
and raised in Nova Scotia’s Inverness County. After
receiving a B.A, M.A. and PhD, MacLeod went on to teach
at the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College, then to Indiana
University and finally to the University of Windsor, where
he received the designation of University Professor and
still teaches today. His fiction, poetry and scholarly observations
have appeared in numerous publications and have been translated
into 15 languages. MacLeod’s first novel, No Great
Mischief has won many honours, among them The Trillium
Award for Fiction, two Libris Awards, one for Fiction Book
of the Year, the other for Author of the Year, and the prestigious
Dublin Impac Award. MacLeod is a member of the Royal Society,
a recipient of the Queens Jubilee Medal and holds eleven
Honourary Doctorate degrees. Alistair MacLeod is married
with six children and lives with his wife in Windsor, Ontario.
(Moyez) Vassanji was born in Kenya and raised in
Tanzania. Before coming to Canada in 1978, he attended M.I.T.,
and later was writer in residence at the University of Iowa.
Vassanji is the author of five acclaimed novels: The
Gunny Sack (1989), which won a regional Commonwealth
Prize; No New Land (1991); The Book of Secrets
(1994), which won the very first Giller Prize the same year;
Amriika (1999); and The In-Between World of
Vikram Lall, which won the 2003 Giller Prize. Vassanji
was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize in 1994 in recognition
of his achievement in and contribution to the world of letters,
and was in the same year chosen as one of twelve Canadians
on Maclean’s Honour Roll. In 2004, Vassanji was nominated
for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada
& Caribbean). M.G. Vassanji lives in Toronto with his
wife Nurjehan. They have two sons.
This year, the shortlist is scheduled to
be announced at a press conference in Toronto on Thursday,
October 7. The winner will be announced at a black-tie dinner
and awards ceremony at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel on Thursday,
November 11, 2004.
The Giller Prize awards $25,000 annually
to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story
collection published in English. The award was established
in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour
of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The
Prize is now celebrating its eleventh year.