Edmonton's Lynn Coady was awarded the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her collection of short stories,Hellgoing, on Tuesday night at a gala celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Toronto.
Hosted by Q's Jian Ghomeshi, the Scotiabank Giller Prize celebrated their 20th year with a star-studded line-up of presenters introducing each of the five shortlisted authors and their books. Coady was up against four other strong contenders: Lisa Moore for Caught, Dan Vyleta for The Crooked Maid, Craig Davidson for Cataract City, and Dennis Bock for Going Home Again.
This year's jury was comprised of Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan (both previous Giller winners) and American author Jonathan Lethem. Their citation of Hellgoing says that Coady's book is "magically united by Coady's vivid and iconoclastic language, which brims with keen and sympathetic wit...Coady offers a worldview full of mournful humor, ready indignation, and vertiginous possibility; the reader feels in the presence of life itself."
This is Coady's first Scotiabank Giller Prize win, although she was previously shortlisted for the award in 2011 for her novel The Antagonist (she lost that year to Edugyan, one of this year's jurors).
Coady gave a wry but heartfelt acceptance speech, joking that she "[doesn't] even like to cry in private," and went on to thank her husband, her family, Jack Rabinovitch and the Giller jury, and her publishers at House of Anansi. "This is amazing," she said.