The 2003 Giller Prize - News

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November 5, 2003

Toronto (Wednesday, November 5, 2003) — Five Toronto residents have their reading cut out for them this winter. They’re the recent winners in the library’s Guess the Giller contest.

Toronto residents Craig Collins-Williams, David Dunn, Rakhi Henderson, Gary Martin and Graham Parkinson correctly quessed M.G. Vassanji’s The In-Between World of Vikram Lall as the winner of the Giller Prize for 2003. Their reward: copies of all five books on the Giller shortlist.

A first-ever experiment for the library, the Guess the Giller contest ran from October 15 to November 3, in 15 branches across the city and on the library’s website. Close to 1200 people participated, 348 of them via the website.

“Library users know their books, and they love their books,” said City Librarian Josephine Bryant. “We were happy to offer them this opportunity to have some fun with the Giller Prize.”

A clear trend emerged during the contest with 37 percent of participants predicting Ann-Marie MacDonald’s The Way the Crow Flies would win the prize. Giller 2003 winner M.G.Vassanji came fourth in the library contest, predicted to win by 16 percent.

The library saw demand increase for all shortlisted books, but the one that received the biggest boost was John Gould’s Kilter: 55 Fictions. Only two copies of the book were in the system before the shorlist was announced. There are now 84. Holds on the book, before the shortlist were 1 only; as the contest closed, there were 126.

The five shortlisted books for the Giller Prize 2003 were The In-Between World of Vikram Lall; Kilter; 55 Fictions; Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood; Island Walker, by John Bemrose; The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald.


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