November 3, 1999

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 industry and arts community, Bonnie Burnard was named as the 1999 winner of The Giller Prize, Canada's premier literary prize for fiction. Bonnie Burnard's winning novel, A Good House, is published by HarperFlamingoCanada/A Phyllis Bruce Book. 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 five finalists was announced on October 4, 1999.

Those finalists were:

  • Bonnie Burnard for her novel A Good House, A Phyllis Bruce Book published by HarperFlamingoCanada
  • Timothy Findley for his novel Pilgrim, published by HarperFlamingoCanada
  • Anne Hébert for her novel Am I disturbing you?, published by House of Anansi Press
  • Nancy Huston for her novel The Mark of the Angel, published by McArthur & Company
  • David Macfarlane for his novel Summer Gone, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada

Selected by a distinguished jury panel, comprised of authors Alberto Manguel and Nino Ricci and bookseller Judith Mappin, the finalists were chosen from 70 books submitted for consideration.

Of the winning book, the jury remarked, "In A Good House, Bonnie Burnard imbues the apparently ordinary lives of her characters with an integrity and a depth of emotion that in the end make them unforgettable. Following the history of a southern Ontario family over a period of fifty years, the novel gives us the sweep of whole lives lived so that we come away with what feels like wisdom, a sense of the moments that truly give value and meaning to a life."

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 Petrolia, 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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