Tuesday, November 10, 2015 |
André Alexis is taking home the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Fifteen Dogs. The modern-day parable about what happens when 15 dogs in a Toronto veterinary clinic are given human consciousness also won the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Of the novel, the jury - comprised of Irish author John Boyne, Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi - wrote:
"What does it mean to be alive? To think, to feel, to love and to envy? André Alexis explores all of this and more in the extraordinary Fifteen Dogs, an insightful and philosophical meditation on the nature of consciousness. It's a novel filled with balancing acts: humour juxtaposed with savagery, solitude with the desperate need to be part of a pack, perceptive prose interspersed with playful poetry. A wonderful and original piece of writing that challenges the reader to examine their own existence and recall the age old question, what's the meaning of life?"
In his acceptance speech, André Alexis thanked his family and his dear friend, the poet Roo Borson, who helped him come up with the novel's title. Alexis' previous novels include Pastoral, Asylum and Childhood.
The authors shortlisted for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize were Samuel Archibald for his Arvida, Rachel Cusk for Outline, Heather O'Neill for Daydreams of Angels and Anakana Schofield for her sophomore novel Martin John.
As the 2015 winner, André Alexis receives $100,000 and a two-week residency at the Banff Centre in their picturesque Leighton Artists' Colony.
The gala was broadcast on CBC Television and live streamed on CBCBooks.ca.
WATCH THE GALA REPLAY HERE:
Explore the Scotiabank Giller Prize history: