Miriam Toews and Kim Thuy are among the female authors dominating this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.
Women made up 10 of the dozen writers in the running for the $100,000 literary honour.
Last year’s winner, Souvankham Thammavongsa, revealed the familiar names and new nominees on the longlist Wednesday.
Toews and Thuy each received their third Giller nods.
Meanwhile, Katherena Vermette, Casey Plett and Jordan Tannahill are among the dynamic wordsmiths being recognized by the prize for the first time.
The shortlist will be announced on Oct. 5, and the winner will be named at a televised ceremony on Nov. 8.
Toews is nominated for her Toronto-set multigenerational tale, Fight Night, published by Knopf Canada.
The Manitoba-bred author was shortlisted for the Giller in 2004 for A Complicated Kindness, and again in 2014 for All My Puny Sorrows. The screen adaptation of All My Puny Sorrows is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday.
Thuy is recognized for her story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Em, published by Random House Canada, and translated from French by Sheila Fischman.
The Quebec author also shared the Giller spotlight with Fischman for Ru on the 2012 shortlist, and Vi on the 2018 longlist.
Vermette, a Red River Métis author, poet and advocate, is adding a Giller nomination to her long list of accolades with the intergenerational saga The Strangers, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada.
Winnipeg-raised Plett, co-founder of the fledgling feminist publisher LittlePuss Press, is nominated for her short-story collection centring on transgender women, A Dream of a Woman, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
Meanwhile, Tannahill – who has been dubbed “the enfant terrible of Canadian theatre” – is bringing his creative fire to the Giller with The Listeners, from HarperCollins Canada, about a mother obsessed by a sound no one else can hear.
Also on the 2021 longlist are:
- Cedar Bowers for her novel Astra, published by McClelland & Stewart;
- Omar El Akkad for his novel, What Strange Paradise, published by McClelland & Stewart;
- Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onubia for her novel, The Son of The House, published by Dundurn Press;
- Angelique Lalonde for her story collection, Glorious Frazzled Beings, published by House of Anansi;
- Rachel Rose for her story collection, The Octopus Has Three Hearts, published by Douglas & McIntyre;
- Linda Rui Feng for her novel, Swimming Back to Trout River, published by Simon & Schuster;
- Aimee Wall for her novel, We, Jane, published by Book*hug Press.
Organizers say the 12 titles were chosen from 132 books submitted by publishers across Canada.
Sitting on this year’s jury are Canadian authors Zalika Reid-Benta, Megan Gail Coles and Joshua Whitehead, as well as Malaysian novelist Tash Aw and U.S. author Joshua Ferris.
The Giller awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short-story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists.
For translated works, 70 per cent of the prize goes to the author, and 30 per cent to the translator.
The Giller was established by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994 in memory of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.
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