Expectations and surprise: the Giller short list

Giller season! Giller season! Giller season!

I’ve never been so impatient for a short list in my life. Despite only working my way through two of the long-listed works so far, I had a couple of predictions about how things were going to go down. This morning’s announcement held a few surprises but also fulfilled a few expectations. Not a bad mix at all!

The Short-Listers
(Click on a cover for the Goodreads link.)

outline  martin-john  arvida  daydreams-of-angels  fifteen-dogs-by-andre-alexis

Surprise: Daydreams of Angels

I’m 70 pages away from finishing Daydreams of Angels. While I’m enjoying it, I absolutely didn’t expect to see it on the short list. All in all, a collection of utterly Canadian, whimsical tales. It just has yet to bowl me over. (Stay tuned for a full review – hopefully next week!)

Surprise: Undermajordomo Minor

I was so sure that we’d see Patrick deWitt on this list, especially after reading Daniel Handler’s amazing review in The New York Times. I still absolutely plan on picking up this novel – but I’m sad and disappointed that it didn’t make it to the short list.

No Surprise: Outline and Fifteen Dogs

I’ve been hearing great things about both of these novels everywhere – no surprise to see them on the short list. Fifteen Dogs sounds like a riot – a brilliant philosophy-meets-pop-culture mixture, and a Québécois translation to boot. Outline has been described as “lethally intelligent,” a novel that plays with perception and focus, with a solid foundation in beautiful prose.

Surprise: Biblioasis 

Indie lit publisher Biblioasis had three titles on the long list, and two of those three (Arvida, Martin John) made it to the short list. And they say print is dead!

The Biggest Surprise: No White Guys

While I’m sad that Patrick deWitt didn’t make it to the second round, I have to admit I’m flabbergasted to see ZERO white men on the short list. For a long time I’ve heard that English lit is nothing more than old white men – but this list truly shows off both the talent and diversity of contemporary Canadian authors.

How about you? Any big surprises in this morning’s reveal? Who’s your money on to win this thing?


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