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Six finalists announced for Canada's Giller Prize

October 5, 2011 |  7:10 am

Michael Ondaatje is one of six Giller Prize finalists Michael Ondaatje, author of "The English Patient" is one of six writers who have been named finalists for Canada's Giller Prize. Ondaatje's novel "Anil's Ghost" won the prize in 2000, and "Divasadero" was a 2007 finalist. This year, it's Ondaatje's novel "The Cat's Table," on sale just this week in the U.S., which is under consideration.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada's largest award for fiction. It will award about $47,000 to its winner and $7,000 to each finalist.

Two of the six finalists also have books that have been shortlisted for Britain's Man Booker Prize, which is open to writers from the Commonwealth. They are Esi Edugyan's novel "Half Blood Blues," which will be published in the U.S. in 2012, and Patrick DeWitt's "The Sisters Brothers," a grisly, funny Western that came out in April.

Just one of the Giller Prize finalists is a short-story collection, Zsuzsi Gartner's "Better Living Through Plastic Explosives," which has yet to be published in the U.S.

The same goes for "The Antagonist," by Lynn Coady, a newspaper advice columnist. Her first book was a bestseller in Canada.

The novel "The Free World" by David Bezmogis rounds out the Giller Prize shortlist. "Bezmozgis is very good at channeling these characters," we wrote when his book came out here this spring. "He lets them speak. He listens to them. He watches where their thoughts wander."

The Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded during a gala on Nov. 8.


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Photo: Michael Ondaatje in 2007. Credit: Jeff Nolte / Alfred A. Knopf