The Real 2009 Giller Prize Winner is…


The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre


The Shadow Jury is delighted to see its decision confirmed. The Bishop’s Man is a book that we heartily recommend — skip down two posts and you will find links to both Trevor and my reviews.

On a personal note, I thought the 2009 Giller was characterized by a very high quality longlist. While it is true that none of the books (including the winner) was without flaws, there was a consistent high quality from all 12 books. Eleven of those 12 have been reviewed on this site and you can find links in the sidebar to the right. If you are looking for a good book to read (or ask for or give, now that holiday time is coming up), do look beyond the shortlist into some of the titles that did not move on to the shortlist. There are some very good books in the other seven.

I am also pleased to announce that the 2009 Shadow Giller Jury will return intact for the 2010 competition. Trevor Berrett at The Mookse and The Gripes was an excellent international judge and if you visit his site you will find reviews of all the shortlisted books, as well as a few that did not make it. Alison Gzowski and I are pleased to be able to have him join us again next year.


9 Responses to “The Real 2009 Giller Prize Winner is…”

  1. Rick P Says:

    I just ordered the winning novel.

    Thanks to Shadow Giller for all the work and insight.

    This was widely reported in the press as an upset or a surprise.

    Not only was Shadow Giller aligned but Kevin was quite certain they were aligned with the Main Giller Jury. So, no surprise for those on top of things.


  2. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Thanks, Rick. I do think it was the best book and I think the fact that the Shadow Jury actually reads the books — which most of the media do not — contributed to the decision. It was the right choice.


  3. Maggie Says:

    Congratulations Shadows on your astute top pick!


  4. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Thanks, Maggie — I get awards picks right so rarely that this was a special pleasure.


  5. House of Anansi Press Says:

    Hi Kevin — congratulation on selection the Giller winner. I think you were one of the few!

    I’d like to get in touch with you about your review policy, but you haven’t listed any contact info on your blog. Would you mind emailing me, please?

    Thanks very much,


  6. dovegreyreader Says:

    Kevin, that’s a first for both of us this year then, my Booker tip, your Giller, congratulations on the shadowing, it’s been so good to get news of more good Canadian books


  7. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Thanks, dgr. I suspect it will be a long time until we are both right again. Still, nice to celebrate a year of juries making the right choice :-).
    Thanks also for your support of Canadian work — please promote books from the longlist whenver you can (I continue to believe that Martha Baillie’s The Incident Report is the most fun read of all these books, but then I’m not an official judge).


  8. Rick P Says:

    Hmmmmm. The GG went to Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger. I’m assuming this is a surprise given The Golden Mean and Too Much Happiness were on the shortlist.

    I usually try to read the GG winner. indicates 1 to 2 months lead time and Indigo says 3 to 5 weeks.

    I guess I’ll get to it eventually.


  9. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Rick: You beat me too the punch with your comment — I was writing my post which is now up. Your assumptions about contenders are the same as mine, so I was surprised. If you go to my review of Pullinger’s book, you will find that I enjoyed it — I just did not think it was the kind of book that would win a Canadian literary competition. It is worth the read (and Indigo delivered it to me more quickly than 3 to 5 weeks, even though that was what they were quoting then).


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