> Zed Book Club / Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist Announced

Canadian writer Miriam Toews is nominated for the $100,000 Giller Prize for her eighth novel. Photo: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

> Buzz

Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist Announced

Sophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde / BY Kim Honey / October 5th, 2021


The judges for Canada’s richest book prize announced their shortlist today, and two-time nominee Miriam Toews is in the running again for Fight Night, a novel about a pregnant, single actress raising her precocious nine-year-old daughter while taking care of her frail yet feisty mother.

The first-place winner, who will be announced at a scaled-back gala on Nov. 8, will be awarded $100,000, while the four runners-up get $10,000 each.

Toews, who grew up in the Mennonite community in Steinbach, Man., and lives in Toronto, was nominated in 2014 for All My Puny Sorrows (which won the 2014 Writers’ Trust fiction prize) and in 2004 for A Complicated Kindness (which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction).

 

Former Globe and Mail journalist Omar El Akkad, whose stunning debut novel, American War, won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in 2018, made the shortlist with What Strange Paradise. The haunting novel tells the story of a Syrian boy, the sole survivor of a migrant ship that sinks off the coast of a fictional Greek island, and the teenage girl who tries to help him avoid living in limbo in a refugee camp.

London-based playwright, director and writer Jordan Tannahill was nominated for his second novel The Listeners, about a high-school teacher in suburban America who starts hearing a low-level hum that only a few others can hear, and drives herself mad trying to find the source.

The other two writers have been nominated for debut books: Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia for The Son of the House and Angélique Lalonde for her collection of short stories called Glorious Frazzled Beings.

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, wrote her novel while getting her PhD in law at Dalhousie University. 
Photo: Courtesy of Scotiabank Giller Prize

 

Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, a lawyer and academic, works in Lagos, Nigeria, on gender-based violence and women’s health for a non-profit, but spends her summers in Nova Scotia. She started writing The Son of the House in Halifax, where she was pursuing her doctorate in law from Dalhousie University, and it was first published in South Africa in 2019 and in Canada this year by Dundurn Press. It tells the story of two Nigerian women who are kidnapped and held hostage together, where they forge a deep friendship despite their differences in education and class.

Lalonde, who grew up in B.C. with a French-speaking mother, explores themes around love, home and loss in her short stories, which features tiny ghosts and a shape-shifting mother who has a son born with fox ears.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by the late businessman and philanthropist Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The gala is usually a lavish dinner affair and the invitations are highly sought by the literati. This year, most will have to settle for watching the show, hosted by Kim’s Convenience actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and poet, performer and artist Rupi Kaur, on CBC TV.

THE SCROLL

Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


> STAY UP TO DATE

Sign Up for the Weekly Book Club Newsletter