And the Real Giller winner is…


Here’s the Real Jury’s citation for Will Ferguson’s 419:

“Will Ferguson’s 419 points in the direction of something entirely new: the Global Novel. It is a novel emotionally and physically at home in the poverty of Lagos and in the day-to-day of North America. It tells us the ways in which we are now bound together and reminds us of the things that will always keep us apart. It brings us the news of the world far beyond the sad, hungry faces we see on CNN and CBC and far beyond the spreadsheets of our pension plans. Ferguson is a true travel writer, his eye attuned to the last horrible detail. He is also a master at dialogue and suspense. It is tempting to put 419 in some easy genre category, but that would only serve to deny its accomplishment and its genius.”

For Shadow Jury reviews, Kimbofo’s is here, Trevor’s here and KfC’s here.

For the second year in a row, the Real Jury endorsed the second choice of the Shadow Jury. Okay, for the second year in a row, Shadow Juror Kimbofo’s first choice was the same as the Real Jury choice — and her fellow Shadow Jurors talked her into accepting her second choice. As I said earlier, next year we may have to give her 200 points to spread around in the first vote.

Ferguson is a fellow Calgarian — the first to win the Giller. Full congratulations to him as a deserving winner.

For those who didn’t see the broadcast, the CBC did quite a good job — particularly on introducing and interviewing the authors (some of the non-book stuff was less impressive). If you have been following the Giller it might be worth checking their site for a web version.

And that ends the 2012 Giller. See you again in 2013.


5 Responses to “And the Real Giller winner is…”

  1. mojadaka Says:

    Yes! So glad to see Ferguson recognized.


  2. buriedinprint Says:

    I enjoyed his acceptance speech and quite enjoyed the broadcast as a whole. The simple idea of literature claiming the primetime broadcast slot endlessly appeals!


  3. KevinfromCanada Says:

    I also thought the broadcast had more positives than negatives. In particular, I thought whoever wrote the introductory pieces for the presenters had not only read the books, but had a very good understanding of them. And the interviews with the five authors were very well produced and did a good job of introducing us to their thinking.

    And kudos to the CBC for devoting a primetime hour — neither the Booker not the Pulitzer get near that exposure in the UK or US.


  4. mfcrpittman Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I haven’t posted muuch here during award season. I’ve still followed the site quite a bit. The Giller and booker lists just didn’t inspire me this year. I couldn’t generate much enthusiasm. As a result, I’ve almost finished 419 and from Booker just read The Yips and Bring Up The Bodies.

    I agree very much with the 419 review. It’s not bad. I’m enjoying it but found the 419 scam part better than the internal Nigerian piece. I haven’t gotten to the end so it hasn’t quite come together for me. I’m pretty sure I like it less than The Antagonist, The Cat’s Table, Half Blood Blues, The Sisters Brothers, The Free World and Touch from last year.

    For Booker, I agree with your review on The Yips. she has so much promise but seems to derail at some point.

    I liked Bring Up The Bodies far more than I expected to, I thought it was much better than Wolf. The story was more crisp and Mantel seems to have adjusted her style to be a little less muddy.

    This year’s Booker/Giller season was my least active in a few years. Hopefully things will be better next year,


  5. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Ric: I wasn’t surprised that we didn’t get many comments from you — knowing what I do of your tastes, there did not seem to be much on either the Giller or Booker list that would excite you. For Canada, I don’t hold the jury responsible for that — I read quite a number of books that didn’t make the longlist and can’t fault the jury for leaving them off. There were a number of Booker eligibles that did not show up that I quite liked (Warner, Amis, Lanchester for a start) but I have to acknowledge this year’s jury did show broader tastes than last year’s — so I’d just have to say I had different tastes.

    I too am looking forward to a more interesting year from both prizes next year.


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