Hello, this is Kim from Reading Matters once again. I’m pleased to let you know…
**drum roll, please**
…that the Shadow Giller Jury has decided to return for 2016!
Ever since the longlist was announced last week, we’ve been talking behind the scenes to see whether it was possible to shadow the prize again without our much-loved chairman to guide us along. It feels bittersweet to continue what has become an annual tradition without Kevin steering the ship, but we felt it was the best way to honour him and I’m sure it’s something he would like us to do given that championing Canadian literature was so dear to his heart. And, as the kicker says on Kevin’s banner above, “the show must go on…”
(Regular visitors will know that Kevin chaired a “shadow jury” since year two of the Giller — you can find the story of its history here.)
The make up of this year’s jury will be slightly different to previous years. I will be continuing as per usual, as will Alison Gzowski, who is an editor at The Globe and Mail. Sadly, Trevor Berrett, who blogs at The Mookse and the Gripes, has decided to bow out owing to other commitments (he’s judging the Best Translated Book Award), though he may chime in with comments and perhaps review one or two shortlisted books on his blog. We are sad to see him go.
In his place, we’re excited to announce that Naomi MacKinnon, who blogs at Consumed by Ink, has agreed to take part in this year’s jury. Naomi, who is from Nova Scotia, is another enthusiastic champion of Canadian literature and if you haven’t discovered her wonderful blog yet, please do pop along and check it out.
During the course of Giller Prize season, Kevin’s blog will feature excerpts of reviews by Naomi (with links to the full version), I will crosspost my own reviews here and on my own blog, and Alison promises to contribute a few guest posts and be actively involved in the comments, too. Because of the short timing between the longlist and shortlist announcement, it’s unlikely we’ll be reviewing the entire longlist, but we will endeavour to read every title on the shortlist and take it from there…
In the long-established tradition of the Shadow Giller Jury, we will announce our winner a few days in advance of the official Giller Prize announcement on November 7.
Please do add comments and chime in with your own thoughts on the titles as we review them. Taking part in the Shadow Giller has always been a highlight of my reading year, but it’s made all the better when booklovers from across the world jump in and take part.