Author Noah Richler chairs the 2024 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury panel. Photo: Courtesy of Scotiabank Giller Prize
2024 Giller Prize: Noah Richler, Kevin Chong and Molly Johnson Among Jury Members
Author Noah Richler is chairing the jury for this year's Giller Prize, an award's body his father literary icon Mordecai Richler helped launch in 1994. / BY Andrew Wright / January 22nd, 2024
The 2024 Giller Prize jury was announced Monday, featuring what the annual literary awards body called “an extraordinary constellation of readers and writers.”
“This year’s jury panel is composed of the finest minds, readers with a first-rate grasp of the true breadth and scope of genre-bending Canadian literature, its global range and commutation of literary conventions,” a press release announcing the selections read.
Chairing the jury panel is author, former BBC Radio producer and National Post books section editor Noah Richler, whose accolades include the B.C. Award for Canadian Non-fiction and three gold National Magazine Awards, as well as past Governor General’s Literary Award and Writers’ Trust Award nominations.
Richler’s father, Mordecai Richler – who is remembered as one of Canada’s greatest authors – helped businessman Jack Rabinovitch found the Giller Prize in 1994. The award was created in honour of literary journalist Doris Giller, Rabinovitch’s wife and books editor of the Montreal Gazette, who had died a year earlier.
Mordecai Richler won the prize in 1997 for his novel Barney’s Version, adding to an impressive list of literary accolades which includes a Governor General’s Literary Award in 1968 (Cocksure) and 1971 (St. Urbain’s Horseman).
The annual $100,000 literary prize is the biggest in Canada and recognizes the best in Canadian fiction.
Richler is joined on the 2024 jury by fellow Canadian writer Kevin Chong and Canadian singer-songwriter and jazz legend Molly Johnson.
Chong’s most recent novel, The Double Life of Benson Yu, was a finalist for the 2023 prize.
Meanwhile, Johnson – a former Zoomer cover subject – received the Order of Canada and the 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. In 2016, she founded Toronto’s Kensington Market Jazz Festival and currently serves as the festival’s artistic director. In addition, she’s also an HIV/AIDS activist and founded the Kumbaya Festival to raise money and awareness for Canadian charities working for that cause.
The panel’s international jurists are authors Dinaw Mengestu and Megha Majumdar.
Mengestu, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois, is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has won the Guardian First Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Majumdar is the author of the New York bestselling novel A Burning. She received the 2022 Whiting Award, a $50,000 prize given to 10 emerging writers.
The Giller longlist will be revealed in early September and the shortlist in early October. The winner will be named during a nationally televised CBC broadcast in November.
Last year, Sarah Bernstein won the prize for her novel, Study for Obedience.