The 2001 Giller Prize - News

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November 6, 2001
Canada's Premier Prize for Fiction Names a Winner

TORONTO - At a gala dinner and award ceremony that drew over 450 members of the publishing, media and arts communities, Richard B. Wright was named the 2001 winner of The Giller Prize, Canada's premier literary prize for fiction. Richard B. Wright's winning novel, Clara Callan, is a Phyllis Bruce Book, published by HarperFlamingoCanada. The largest annual prize for fiction in the country, The Giller Prize awards $25,000 each year to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English.

A shortlist of six finalists was announced on October 3, 2001. Those finalists were:

  • Sandra Birdsell for her novel The Russländer, published by McClelland & Stewart
  • Michael Crummey for his novel River Thieves, published by Doubleday Canada
  • Michael Redhill for his novel Martin Sloane, published by Doubleday Canada
  • Timothy Taylor for his novel Stanley Park, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada
  • Jane Urquhart for her novel The Stone Carvers, published by McClelland & Stewart
  • Richard B. Wright for his novel Clara Callan, a Phyllis Bruce Book/published by HarperFlamingoCanada

    More Info on Finalists

Selected by a distinguished jury panel, comprised of authors David Adams Richards and Joan Clark, and journalist Robert Fulford, the finalists were chosen from 78 books submitted for consideration.

Of the winning book, the jury remarked, "Clara Callan illumines, by way of a diary and letters, the inner life of an Ontario village school teacher of the 1930's when "spinster" and "respectable" meant constricted emotions and a glum existence. In this atmosphere Clara enacts her private drama of doomed adulterous love and single motherhood with stoic heroism. Running parallel with and counterpointing Clara's life is Nora's - she is the sister who got away. An understated, graceful writer who never makes a false step, Richard B.Wright is a master at revealing the small dramas that unfold in what might appear to others as an unremarkable life. In Clara Callan he has achieved an accomplished and utterly convincing novel."

Clara Callan is Richard B. Wright's ninth novel. An earlier work, The Age of Longing, was nominated for both The Giller Prize and a Governor General's Award. He is the author of seven other novels, including The Weekend Man, Tourists, Sunset Manor and In the Middle of A Life, the last of which won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Faber Award. Wright has also published a children's book, One John A Too Many. His work has been published in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., to outstanding reviews. Wright lives in St. Catharines, Ontario with his wife, Phyllis.

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