Books

Randy Boyagoda chairs 5-person Scotiabank Giller Prize jury

Canadians Donna Bailey Nurse and José Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean Aminatta Forna Bosnian-American author Aleksandar Hemon round out the panel that will chose the books vying for the $100,000 prize.
From left: Randy Boyagoda, Aminatta Forna, Aleksandar Hemon, Donna Bailey Nurse and José Teodoro. (Submitted by the Scotiabank Giller Prize)

Canadian author Randy Boyagoda will chair the five-person jury for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The other jury members are Canadian writer and critic Donna Bailey Nurse, Canadian playwright José Teodoro, Bosnian-American author Aleksandar Hemon and Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna.

The Giller Prize, which has been awarded annually since 1994, recognizes the best in Canadian literary fiction. It was founded by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his wife, literary critic Doris Giller. 

The jury is responsible for choosing the longlist, shortlist and eventual winning book.

The 2019 longlist will be revealed on Sept. 10, followed by the shortlist on Sept. 30 and the winner announcement on Nov. 18.

The author of the winning work will take home $100,000. The Giller Prize is the richest literary prize in Canada.

Boyagoda, a frequent columnist on CBC Radio's The Next Chapter, is the author of five books, most recently the novel Original Prin. His first novel, Governor of the Northern Province, was longlisted for the Giller Prize in 2006. Boyagoda is currently an English professor and the principal and vice-president at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto.

Bailey Nurse is also a regular columnist on CBC Radio's The Next Chapter. She's the author of the books Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing and What's A Black Critic to Do?. Her work has appeared in publications like the Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She recently served as a juror for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize and the 2018 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

Teodoro has written several plays, including MoteCloudlessThe Tourist and Slowly. He has also worked as a story editor on films such as Hugh Gibson's documentary The Stairs and  Lina Rodríguez's films Señoritas and This Time Tomorrow.

Forna has written both fiction and nonfiction. Her novels include Happiness, The Devil that Danced on Water and The Memory of Love, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best book. In 2017, she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages, and she is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University.

Hemon is the author of the novels The Lazarus Project and The Making of Zombie Wars and the nonfiction book The Book of My Lives. His next book, My Parents / This Does Not Belong to You, is a memoir exploring how his parents were uprooted in the Siege of Sarajevo and were forced to make new lives for their family in Canada and the U.S., will be out in June 2019. 

The 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner was Esi Edugyan for her novel Washington Black. It was the second time she received the prize, previously winning in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues.

Other past winners include Michael Redhill for Bellevue SquareMadeleine Thien for Do Not Say We Have NothingAndré Alexis for Fifteen Dogs and Margaret Atwood for Alias Grace.

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