Ontario-born novelist Bonnie Burnard served on two Scotiabank Giller Prize juries before winning the prize herself in 1999 for In A Good House
. Her book Casino & Other Stories
was also shortlisted on inaugural Giller Prize, which ultimately went to M.G. Vassanji.
This time, the jury chose Burnard's work, saying she "imbues the apparently ordinary lives of her characters with an integrity and a depth of emotion that in the end make them unforgettable. Following the history of a southern Ontario family over a period of fifty years, the novel gives us the sweep of whole lives lived so that we come away with what feels like wisdom, a sense of the moments that truly give value and meaning to a life."
"We have all agreed, everyone whose books are submitted for prizes, we have all agreed that we will submit to this because it's a good thing for fiction at large. Not because it will turn any one of us into a genius, but because it will enlarge the readership of all of our work. That's the agreement. And so we agree to go to dinners and not win awards. That's part of the deal. And when you do win, there is of course no conviction that this is the best book."--
Bonnie Burnard1999 Shortlist:Bonnie Burnard - A Good House
Timothy Findley - Pilgrim
Anne Hébert - Am I Disturbing You?
Nancy Huston - The Mark of the Angel
David Macfarlane - Summer Gone