Friday, November 02, 2007


Sometime this weekend you should enter the Guess the Giller contest, either online here or offline at the table just inside the Library front door. The Giller Prize (for best book of fiction in Canada) will be awarded on Tuesday November 6, with the ceremony televised live on Bravo TV (7:00pm Mountain). Some of the folks I've talked to haven't realized that one prize of a set of all the nominated titles will be awarded from just the St. Albert Public Library entries. And last year there were less than a hundred entries, and I think only two correctly guessed the surprise winner (Vincent Lam for Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures) - so your chances are pretty good! As well, there is a great grand prize this year (awarded from all entries nationally) of a trip to a literary festival in Canada (Toronto or Vancouver perhaps?).

Right now the betting is on Elizabeth Hay and her novel Late Nights on Air, followed by M.G. Vassanji and The Assassin's Song at #2, Michael Ondaatje and Divisadero at #3, Daniel Poliquin and A Secret Between Us at #4, and finally Alissa York and Effigy at #5.

It is an entirely new jury this year, so one can't assume that there will be a repeat of last year's surprise, with the dark horse winning. But still, I would not be surprised if Alissa York (pictured at right) pulled off an upset! York currently lives in Toronto but she has lived all over Canada, and was born in Athabasca, Alberta. She notes that although she only lived there seven years, it was an important time:
"My imprint from that time is incredibly strong… I’m drawn to writing about people with their insides showing. There’s a boiling down of human experience in small towns."
With Athabasca just up Highway 2 aways from St. Albert, I'm pulling for her to win!
Bookninja has an audio interview with York, just posted today [here] (a 27 minute MP3). Bookninja is picking York to win.


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