This year, 17 Canadian authors made it to the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist,
the country's richest literary award for fiction. To get some further
insight into their work and their inspirations, CBC Books asked the
longlisted authors a series of questions. As the prize jury debates
which books will be named to the shortlist, we'll be posting our
Q&As for you to enjoy.
Here we have Suzette Mayr, author of Monoceros.
Q: Pitch Canada your novel in three lines or less.
Suzette Mayr: Monoceros is about a 17-year-old boy who commits suicide because his heart is broken and because other students in his school keep bullying him for being gay. His death affects a number of people, including those who hardly knew him or never knew him at all: an Amazonian drag queen named Crêpe Suzette, Crêpe Suzette's teenage niece who believes unicorns will come to save her, and a couple who prefer to eat Ethiopian take-out food rather than talk about their alarming marital problems. In the end, they all get what they deserve -- sort of.
Q: Which Giller-longlisted book (other than your own!) would you like to see take home the prize?
SM: Can there be 17 books tied for the prize? I guess not. (But what a party that would be!) Okay, then I would like to see a tie between Lynn Coady's The Antagonists and Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues.
Q: What's your favourite bookish place in Canada?
SM: I remember very fondly my days as a graduate student on the lower floors of the North Rutherford Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. A great place to read, sleep and have really hot and dirty, extremely quiet trysts with other bookish people...