The 2009 Shadow Giller Prize has been awarded to:
The Bishop’s Man, by Linden MacIntyre
The Shadow Jury decision was both quick and unanimous — all three jurors had this book at the top of their list. We certainly found the other shortlisted titles were worthwhile, but MacIntyre put it all together.
A summary from Trevor Berrett:
In The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre has a subtly controlled mixture of hope and despair all centralized in Father MacAskill, a lonely priest only slightly disillusioned but immensely disturbed by the sexual scandals occurring among his colleagues. What’s so wonderful is that this book can grapple with such a large event as the Catholic Church’s problems in the late twentieth century and still manage to keep the focus on one man and his struggles to reconcile the multiple tragedies of his own past — including, among other things, alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide — in order to find some warmth in the cold and lonely setting of Creignish on Cape Breton Island.
And from KfC:
The characterization in this novel takes it beyond expectation. MacIntyre sets his book in a conventional context — priests who are sexual abusers — but his central character, Father Frank MacAskill, is not part of that crowd and that is the novel’s greatest strength. He is an aging, honest creature who got caught in a trap and can’t get out (not unlike Cape Breton lobsters) and this book underlines his dilemma.
The Real Jury will announce their decision at the Giller gala on Nov. 10. The Shadow Jury has now spoken.
For those with access to Canadian television, there is a fair bit of Giller coverage on Bravo TV. On Saturday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. EST, a one-hour edition of Arts and Minds featuring a panel discussion with all five shortlisted authors will air — it includes a cameo appearance from Shadow Giller juror Alison Gzowski who talks about the Shadow Jury and its work. The Arts and Minds show will be repeated on Tues., Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. EST with live coverage of the Giller gala starting at 9 p.m. For those outside of Canada, CTV promises that a live web feed will be available — check either http://www.ctv.ca or the Giller site for details.