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giller prize q&a

Kathleen Winter,, Annabel (House of Anansi)

Kathleen Winter is nominated for her novel Annabel (Anansi) about an intersex person born neither fully a boy nor a girl. Raised in Newfoundland, Winter now lives in Montreal. Her debut collection of short stories, boYs, won the 2007 Winterset award. Annabel is also the only book to be nominated for all three major literary prizes in Canada this year: the Giller Prize, the Governor-General's Literary Award for English fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

What was your first thought, the moment you heard you were shortlisted for the Giller?

It wasn't a thought, it was a body rush - a glittery buzz, a smashing fizz.

In 100 words or less, why should your book win?

Writing is not a competitive sport. My book is the best book I was able to write on its subject and at the time in which I wrote it. I believe all of us [writers]are in the same boat.

If you do win, what will you do with the prize money?

I'll go back to the Arctic, take my husband to see the stonemasonry of Edinburgh and get back to work on my next book knowing we can keep paying the rent for a while longer.

Which of the nominees would you most like to have dinner with and why?

I am never going to select one nominee over another for anything.

If you were not on the short list, who would you vote for and why?

See above.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a comic murder mystery and a book about the Arctic.