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Author Eleanor Catton at her home in Cambridge UK

Booker Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton is one of six Canadians on the long list for the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction.Betty Laura Zapata/The Globe and Mail

Six Canadians have made the long list for the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, one of the biggest literary prizes celebrating the work of female and non-binary authors in North America.

Canada-born Booker Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton, who lives in Britain, was nominated for her international bestseller Birnam Wood. The psychological thriller published by McClelland & Stewart was a New York Times book of the year and was one of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s summer reading picks.

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Lisa Alward from Fredericton is nominated for her short-story collection Cocktail (Biblioasis). Alward appeared in Best Canadian Stories 2016 and 2017 as well as The Journey Prize Stories collection in 2017.

Toronto playwright and novelist Claudia Dey, whose previous novel, Heartbreaker, was a finalist of the Northern Lit and Trillium Book Award, is nominated for Daughter (Doubleday Canada).

Rounding out the Canadian nominees are Catherine Leroux for The Future (Biblioasis) translated by Susan Ouriou; A History of Burning (McClelland & Stewart) by Janika Oza; and Anuja Varghese, winner of the 2023 Governor-General’s Literary Award, for Chrysalis (House of Anansi), her debut collection of stories about racialized women and their lives.

The nine U.S. finalists include Nicole Cuffy for Dances (One World), Kim Coleman Foote for Coleman Hill (SJP Lit), V. V. Ganeshananthan for Brotherless Night (Random House), Aisha Abdel Gawad for Between Two Moons (Doubleday), Tania James for Loot (Alfred A. Knopf), Juliana Lamy for her collection of short stories You Were Watching from the Sand (Red Hen Press), Rebecca Makkai for I Have Some Questions for You (Viking), Mona Susan Power for A Council of Dolls (Mariner Books) and C Pam Zhang for Land of Milk and Honey (Riverhead Books).

The five shortlisted finalists will be announced on April 9 and the winner will be revealed during a live event in Toronto on May 13. The winner will receive US$150,000 and a residency at Fogo Island Inn, and the four finalists will each get US$12,500.

The Carol Shields Prize, named after the Governor-General Award-winning author, was introduced in 2020 with the inaugural awards taking place in 2023. Fatimah Asghar won the first award for their debut novel When We Were Sisters.

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