Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt will go head to head for one of Canada’s top literary prizes once again, with the celebrated writers shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Organizers announced this year’s five finalists for the $100,000 prize, which honours excellence in long or short-format fiction writing by Canadians, in Toronto Monday morning. They are:
- Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont.
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
- French Exit by Patrick deWitt.
- Motherhood by Sheila Heti.
- An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim.
Former Giller-winner Edugyan and past finalist deWitt faced off in 2011, when their earlier novels Half-Blood Blues and The Sisters Brothers were nominated for several literary awards in Canada and the U.K. Last month, a Hollywood film adaptation of deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Washington Black, Edugyan’s latest novel, is also a finalist for the U.K.’s Man Booker Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Dupont, Heti and Lim are first-time finalists for the annual prize.
‘Fruitful and interesting discussion’
The jury includes journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee, Toronto International Film Festival executive Maxine Bailey and writers Heather O’Neill, Philip Hensher and John Freeman.
“One of the nice things [during deliberations] was to hit upon books where everyone said ‘Yes, this one,'” juror Hensher noted shortly after the announcement.