The 2017 Shadow Giller Winner


We are thrilled to reveal that the winner of the Shadow Giller is:

Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill

Congratulations to Michael Redhill and publisher Penguin Random House!

There are so many aspects to Bellevue Square that it is hard to put it into just one category or type of book. I think the complexity of the story and the twists and turns knocked us all off our feet. The official Giller Prize jury citation is as follows: “To borrow a line from Michael Redhill’s beautiful Bellevue Square, “I do subtlety in other areas of my life.” So let’s look past the complex literary wonders of this book, the doppelgangers and bifurcated brains and alternate selves, the explorations of family, community, mental health, and literary life. Let’s stay straightforward, and tell you that beyond the mysterious elements, this novel is warm, and funny, and smart. Let’s celebrate that it is, simply, a pleasure to read.

An excerpt from Kim’s review:This totally isn’t the type of book I expected when I picked it up. It turned out to be such a surprising read, so immersive and unsettling, that it has lingered in my mind more than two weeks after finishing it. Redhill has crafted a zinger of a novel, one that is well structured and well plotted, the kind of book you need to read again if only to try to understand how he’s done it.”

An excerpt from Naomi’s review: “I found Bellevue Square to be a page-turner; interesting, complicated, stimulating, creepy, and unique. At times I was confused, at other times I thought I knew exactly what was going on… only to find out I was wrong… probably.”


How did we choose our winner?

As per usual, each juror was given 100 points to disperse and these were sent to Mrs KfC, who acted as our independent adjudicator. The results were as follows:

Kim – Redhill 30, Robinson 25, Winters 20, O’Loughlin 15, Cusk 10

Naomi – Redhill 24, Robinson, 28, Winters 26, O’Loughlin 17, Cusk 5

Alison – Redhill 26, Robinson 22, Winters 18, O’Loughlin 14, Cusk 20

Total: Redhill 80, Robinson 75, Winters 64, O’Loughlin 46, Cusk 35

Although Redhill came out ahead by 5 points, Robinson was my first choice (by 2 points) and Kim and Alison’s second choice, so there was some discussion on how strongly I felt about Robinson’s book over Redhill’s. Well, I had such a hard time choosing between three of the books (all wonderful, but very different) that I was happy to see any of the three win. Therefore, we went with the original winner.

Now we wait to see whether the Real Giller Prize jury agree with us. They will name their official winner on Monday, 20 November. For specific timings, please visit the official website.

What do you think of our choice? Have you read Bellevue Square, or do you plan to?


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9 Responses to “The 2017 Shadow Giller Winner”

  1. Lisa Hill Says:

    *chuckle* I won’t be surprised if it’s Cusk. Everywhere I look I seem to hear about Cusk, and yet no one whose reviews I read is very excited about her writing. So if the laws of perversity run true, she’ll get the prize!


  2. sharkell Says:

    Thanks to you all for running the Shadow Giller again this year – it has been great reading all of your reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sheila O'Brien Says:

    I think your choice is inspired and inspiring. Its never easy to be a juror, I’m sure, but this years early result showed how difficult it was for you to choose between your top 2. Well done Shadow Giller Jurists.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. carolebesharah Says:

    You guys sure know how to pick a winner!!! Well done, Shadow Giller. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A Life in Books Says:

    I’ve struggled with Cusk’s writing several times. Nice to be vindicated!

    Liked by 1 person

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