My 2013 Giller Prize Shortlist Prediction

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My 2013 Giller Prize Shortlist Prediction


By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

It’s been an exciting time since the Longlist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize was announced.

For bibliotaphes—especially Canadian bibliotaphes—it is a highly coveted and prestigious award in Canadian literature. It awards its winner with a $70,000 monetary prize and recognizes the excellence in Canadian fiction.

And this year’s jury couldn’t be more qualified with such distinguished writers and readers such as Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan (last year’s Giller Prize winner for her book, Half-Blood Blues), and Jonathan Lethem.

The Longlist was announced on September 16, which has given the jury less than a month to chisel the list down to its much-awaited announcement later TODAY!

Here’s the Longlist of books that are hopeful to make the cut:

Dennis Brock’s Going Home Again

Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda

Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing

Craig Davidson’s Cataract City

Elizabeth de Mariaffi’s How to Get Along with Women

David Gilmour’s Extraordinary

Wayne Grady’s Emancipation Day

Louis Hamelin’s October 1970

Wayne Johnston’s The Son of a Certain Woman

Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs

Lisa Moore’s Caught

Dan Vyleta’s The Crooked Maid

Michael Winter’s Minister Without Portfolio


For book and author details, visit here, the Scotiabank Giller Prize page.


My Prediction:

What do I look for in favouring a book over another?

  • Is the prose effortless?
  • Does the narrative have depth?
  • Is the story compelling?
  • Are the characters flawed in such a way that they are still likeable?
  • Does the story create a sense of empathy in my reading?
  • Does the book’s theme or issues comment or make me think about society, perhaps provoking dialogue or action to change?
  • Does the book move me?
  • Is the book indicative of what it means to be a Canadian?


In answering some of those questions, here are my predictions for this year’s Giller Prize Shortlist:

  • The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
  • Cataract City by Craig Davidson
  • Emancipation Day by Wayne Grady
  • The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston
  • Caught by Lisa Moore


Be sure to come back and see if I was right!


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