The race for the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize will feature books by previous nominee Annabel Lyon and three-time Leacock Medal winner Will Ferguson.
A jury has selected 13 titles to vie for the prestigious literary award for the best Canadian work of fiction in English (or translated into English) published in the last year.
A short list of six finalists will be named Oct. 1.
The full list of contenders is:
- Marjorie Celona, born in Vancouver, now in Cincinnati, for Y (Hamish Hamilton).
- Lauren B. Davis, born in Montreal, now in Princeton, N.J., for Our Daily Bread (HarperCollins Canada).
- Cary Fagan of Toronto, for My Life Among the Apes (Cormorant Books).
- Will Ferguson of Calgary, for 419, (Viking Canada).
- Robert Hough of Toronto for Dr. Brinkley's Tower (House of Anansi Press).
- Billie Livingston of Vancouver, for One Good Hustle (Random House).
- Annabel Lyon of Vancouver for her novel The Sweet Girl (Random House).
- Alix Ohlin, born in Montreal, now in Easton, Penn., for Inside, (House of Anansi Press)
- Katrina Onstad of Toronto for Everybody Has Everything (McClelland & Stewart).
- C.S. Richardson of Regina for his novel The Emperor of Paris, (Doubleday Canada).
- Nancy Richler of Vancouver for The Imposter Bride (HarperCollins).
- Kim Thúy of Montreal, Ru, translated by Sheila Fischman (Random House).
- Russell Wangersky of St. John’s for Whirl Away (Thomas Allen).
Wangersky’s Whirl Away and Cary Fagan’s My Life Among the Apes are short story collections – all the rest are novels. First-time novelists on the list include Thuy and Fagan.
Thuy won the Governor General's Award for French-language fiction for Ru in 2010, when it was published in French.
Readers have chosen The Beggar's Opera by Peggy Blair as their favourite book in the Readers' Choice contest at CBC Books. Thousands put forward nominations in August and 10 books were put to a public vote.
The Readers' Choice winner is not included this year on the Giller long list.
Ferguson won the Leacock Medal for Humour for Happiness (2002), Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw (2008) and Beyond Belfast (2010). But it's unusual for a satirist to make it onto the Giller list, though 419 is more of a thriller, and his nomination likely represents the influence of a fellow humourist on the jury, American Gary Shteyngart.
Lyon made a big splash with her debut novel The Golden Mean, which was nominated for the Giller and the Governor General's Award, and won the Writers’ Trust fiction prize.
This year's Giller jury also includes Irish author and screen writer Roddy Doyle, and Canadian publisher, writer and essayist Anna Porter. CBC will broadcast the gala Oct. 30 to name the winner of the award.