The 2003 Giller Prize - News
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October 2, 2003
THE GILLER PRIZE 2003 ANNOUNCES SHORTLIST
Canada's Premier Literary Prize for Fiction Names Its Finalists
TORONTO - Today, in a morning press conference that drew
over 100 media and members of the publishing industry, The Giller Prize
announced its 2003 shortlist and revealed special plans to mark its 10th
anniversary. Selected by an esteemed jury panel, comprised of jurist Rosalie
Silberman Abella, scholar and academic David Staines and author Rudy Wiebe,
the five finalists were chosen from 93 books submitted for consideration.
Those books were submitted by 38 publishers from every region of the country.
The jury named the finalists. They are:
• Margaret Atwood for her novel Oryx and Crake, published
by McClelland & Stewart
• John Bemrose for his novel The Island Walkers, published
by McClelland & Stewart
• John Gould for his short story collection Kilter: 55 Fictions,
published by Turnstone Press
• Ann-Marie MacDonald for her novel The Way the Crow Flies,
published by Knopf Canada
• M.G. Vassanji for his novel, The In-Between World of Vikram
Lall, published by Doubleday Canada
Jack Rabinovitch, who founded the Prize in memory of his
late wife, literary journalist
Doris Giller, spoke at the press conference and announced several initiatives
to mark the 10th anniversary of the Prize.
For the first time, the awards ceremony will be simulcast live across
Canada on three
networks: Bravo! NewsStyleArtsChannel, Book Television: The Channel and
The show will run from 9:00P until 10:00P Eastern. This is Bravo!’s
6th year broadcasting
the awards, and the first time CBC will air the ceremony live.
On Tuesday, November 4th, the finalists will be honoured and a winner
a gala black tie dinner and awards ceremony to be held at Toronto’s
Four Seasons Hotel.
In a departure from tradition, Jack Rabinovitch will be handing over gala
this year to Mary Walsh, host of CBC Television’s Open Book and
This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
“Short of winning the much coveted award, says Walsh, “nothing
could thrill me more than
Public Library Promotion
As part of a focused campaign to bring Canadian literature to a wider
reading audience, The Giller Prize has teamed up with the Toronto Public
Library (TPL) to launch a pilot project involving this year’s shortlisted
books, set to begin Tuesday, October 14th, 2003.
The TPL - with over 30 million actual and virtual
visitors each year - will carry ballot boxes in 15 branches across
the city and will also run the promotion through their website at www.tpl.toronto.on.ca.
On the ballots, contest participants will be asked to predict the winner.
The draw will take place on November 5. The first five winning entries
will receive the entire 2003 shortlist library.
Statistics gathered by the TPL indicate that demand for
the Giller shortlisted and winning titles increases each year. Josephine
Bryant, City Librarian, says given readers’ enthusiasm, the association
is a perfect fit. “The Toronto Public Library has long been a proud
supporter of Canadian literature. We know our patrons have a keen interest
in stories by and about Canadians and we’re delighted to respond
to that interest by working with The Giller Prize on this project,”
The Giller Prize is committed to widening the scope of
the Library program to include every region of the country once the pilot
project is completed and assessed.
The Giller Light
Also on November 4, Frontier College will host its second-annual Giller
Light Bash at Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto. The goal is to raise funds
to help children and youth improve their reading and writing skills through
an expansion of Frontier College’s Homework Clubs, its after school
literacy program for inner-city students. Last year, the Giller Light
Bash raised $12,500. Please visit http://www.gillerlight.ca.for more information.
Department of Canadian Heritage
We are pleased to announce that the Department of Canadian Heritage, through
the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) is providing
financial support for this, the 10th year of the Prize.
The Giller Prize awards $25,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian
novel or short story collection published in English. The Giller Prize
is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was
founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.
Please visit us at www.thegillerprize.ca
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