Live From the Giller Prize

Coady-Lynnx800It’s been a remarkable night. With Lynn Coady’s win, it’s officially the year of the short story.For more book content, join our official Book Club.

8:56 A teary Lynn Coady takes the stage to accept the $50,000 cheque.

“I almost didn’t write this speech because then I would hope…This is shocking and overwhelming. I even like to cry in private so this is odd for me,” she says.

In thanking her partner, publicist, publisher, and family she also talks about how proud she is to be in an country that has such an event that treats writers like movie stars.

8:54 The moment has arrived! To announce the winner, founder Jack Robinovitch, the Scotiabank president and the jury takes the stage.

THE WINNER IS LYNN COADY! And the room goes wild.

8:52 The room is buzzing as the time nears to announce the winner. Most people in the room have placed friendly wagers on the outcome.

8:46 The final short listed book to be presented is Dennis Bock’s Going Home.

“He beautifully and eloquently writes about so many themes…divorce, life with kids, love and its losses,” actress Jennifer Podemski says.

In taking the stage, Bock says, “We’ve all been in and out of love and that’s what the book is about.”

8:42 Actress Wendy Crewson introduces Lynn Coady’s collection of short stories Hell Going.

“Lynn Coady is an actor’s writer…complex stories and characters that grab you and shake you,” she says. (Then pitches herself for a role in the adaption – “that Giller is going to look quaint next to your Oscar.”)

When asked by Ghomeshi about the cinematic nature of her writing, Coady says, “I just go into the world and just happening in my head and writing what I’m seeing.”

8:32 Acclaimed director Paul Haggis introduces Craig Davidson’s Cataract City, a tale of broken friendship in a broken city, Niagara Falls.

He shockingly confesses that he didn’t finish it — then tells how he stopped four pages from the end as he didn’t want to leave that world and proceeded to read one page per day.

“In the end, it shattered my heart and gave me hope for broken souls like myself,” Haggis says.

8:28 Ghomeshi introduces the 2013 jury, who spent the last year reading over 150 books: Margaret Atwood (who won the Giller in 1996) and Esi Edugyan (who won in 2011) and American author Jonathan Lethem.

In “bantering” with Margaret Atwood (who is wearing the fabulous green cloak she wore on the September Zoomer cover), he asks about her fourth time as a Giller juror.

Edugyan remarks on the remarkable quality of the this year’s writing, while Letham jokes that the reading was done in a drunken stupor, drawing a huge laugh from the crowd.

8:24 In accepting her leather-bound edition, Moore says the novel is, “about freedom and the consequences if you don’t go for it.”

8:20 George Stroumboulopoulos presents Lisa Moore’s Caught, a thrilling tale of prison breaks, and drug smuggling set in 1970s Newfoundland.

“If you have any young burgeoning criminals in your home, make them read this book,” he says.

8:11 As Ghomeshi presents Vyleta with his leather-bound copy of his book, he asks about the author’s father, who passed away earlier this year, and to whom the novel is dedicated.

“He would have looked very dapper tonight. He was from Prague, he knew how to rock a ballroom. I wish he was here tonight,” Vyleta says.

8:09 The first shortlisted author Dan Vyleta and his book, The Crooked Maid is introduced by musician Shad.

“A dark and thrilling tale… The clever web of a story touches on both the lyrical and the philosophical,” Shad.

8:04 Host Jian Ghomeshi has the crowd raise their glasses in a toast to “the written word,” borrowed from last year’s winner, Will Ferguson.

8:02 PM The band Whitehorse wows the crowd, opening the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize with a riveting performance of Devil’s Got a Gun.

8:00 PM It’s Giller night in Canada! As the who’s who of Can Lit gathers at the Ritz Carleton in Toronto to celebrate the best of fiction, we’ll keep you posted on the ceremony, the nominees, and the winner. Don’t forget to join the conversation. Tweet us at @ZoomerMag. We’ll be retweeting our favourite comments during the show.

Tonight we’ll be live blogging the Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala. Check back at 8:00 p.m. EST for updates on the ceremony, finalists, and the winner.

For everything you need to know before the event, check here.