The five shortlist finalists for the Giller Prize have been announced. They are:
Going Home Again by Dennis Bock
A wrenching and dramatic story that explores the fabric of family: sibling rivalries, marriages on the rocks, hurt children, midlife crisese"in short, modern life When Charlie Bellerose reunites with his flamboyant brother Nate, after two decades apart, their youthful rivalry seems forgotten. Drawn together again by their failed marriages, trying to survive in a world of long-distance parenting and hopeful reunions, they begin to imagine that they can be a new family of sorts. But Charliee(tm)s chance encounter with his first love, Holly, now happily married, unravels his past and complicates his present, plunging him back to his bittersweet college days in Montreal and the fate of his best friend Miles, and forward into Natee(tm)s dangerous attraction to Hollye(tm)s sixteen-year-old daughter, Riley. Yet even Charlie, with all he now knows about his brother, cannot foresee the violence to come. A novel about the mysteries of the human heart, Going Home Again is rich with the exquisite tensions between men and women as they fall in and out of love.
Hellgoing by Lynn Coady
With astonishing range and depth, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Lynn Coady gives us eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last. A young nun charged with talking an anorexic out of her religious fanaticism toys with the thin distance between practicality and blasphemy. A strange bond between a teacher and a schoolgirl takes on ever deeper, and stranger, shapes as the years progress. A bride-to-be with a penchant for nocturnal bondage can't seem to stop bashing herself up in the light of day. Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history
Cataract City by Craig Davidson
Owen and Duncan are childhood friends who've grown up in picturesque Niagara Falls--known to them by the grittier name Cataract City. As the two know well, there's more to the bordertown than meets the eye: behind the gaudy storefronts and sidewalk vendors, past the hawkers of tourist T-shirts and cheap souvenirs live the real people who scrape together a living by toiling at the Bisk, the local cookie factory. And then there are the truly desperate, those who find themselves drawn to the borderline and a world of dog-racing, bare-knuckle fighting, and night-time smuggling. Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town's underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.
Caught by Lisa Moore
"In the creation of David Slaney, Lisa Moore brings us an unforgettable character, embodying the exuberance and energy of misspent youth. Caught is a propulsive and harrowing read." - Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers Internationally acclaimed author Lisa Moore offers us a remarkable new novel about a man who escapes from prison to embark upon one of the most ambitious pot-smuggling adventures ever attempted. Here are bravado and betrayal, bad weather and seas, love, undercover agents, the collusion of governments, unbridled ambition, innocence and the loss thereof, and many, many bales of marijuana. Here, too, is the seeming invincibility of youth and all the folly that it allows. Caught is an exuberant, relentlessly suspenseful, and utterly unique novel, and promises to be the astonishing Lisa Moore's most accomplished work to date.
The Crooked Maid by Dan Vyleta
From the writer praised as a cross between Hitchcock and Dostoyevsky, a dark and suspenseful novel set in post-war Vienna among the spectators in a criminal trial Mid-summer, 1948. Two strangers, Anna Beer and young Robert Seidel, meet on a train as they return to Vienna, where life is just resuming after the upheavals of war. Men who were conscripted into the German army are filtering back home, including Annae(tm)s estranged husband, Dr. Anton Beer, who was held prisoner in a brutal Russian camp. But when Anna returns to their old apartment, she finds another man living there and her husband missing. At his own house, Robert is greeted by a young maid with a deformed spine. The household is in disarray, with his mother addicted to narcotics and his stepfather, an industrialist and former Party member, hospitalized after a mysterious attack. Determined to rebuild their lives, Anna and Robert each begin a dogged search for answers in a world where repression is the order of the day. Before long, they are reunited as spectators at a criminal trial set to deliver judgment on Austriae(tm)s Nazi crimes. In The Crooked Maid, Dan Vyleta conjures up a city haunted by its sins and a people caught between the needs of the present and debts owed to the past.
You have until November 5th to read them all and pick your own winner. The Giller Prize winner will be announced that date!