Giller Prize Nominee Group Reading with Rachel Rose, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia & Omar El Akkad
The Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious North American English language literary prizes, annually given to Canadian writers, will have its 2021 winner announced on November 5. Part of the juried selection process is to have a longlist of twelve titles that were announced in September, followed by a shortlist announced in early October. From the longlist on, the books cited are usually works of significance and merit - many of which have, or will (or should!) work their way to U.S. readers. By the time this evening happens the 2021 winner will be known - with two of the writers tonight, Cheluchi Ouyemelukwe-Onuoiba and Omar El Akkad, who are shortlisted, and thus possible recipients. All three of the books and writers featured this evening are wonderful.
Vancouver writer Rachel Rose’s novel, The Octopus Has Three Hearts (Douglas & McIntyre), was tapped for the longlist, ‘centers’ animals in this compelling first book of stories (she is also a poet of note). "What role do animals play in the lives of people? This is the question posed by author Rachel Rose in her bold, unabashed debut short fiction ... these compassionate, skilfully written stories will undoubtedly appeal to animal lovers as well as readers of literary short stories." –Bev Sandell Greenberg, Winnipeg Free Press.
Nigerian-Canadian writer Cheluchi Ouyemelukwe-Onuoiba’s dazzling debut novel, The Son of the House (Dundurn Press), one of the finalists, “ … is a powerful voice-driven novel that draws from fables and Nollywood to create a moving portrait of female friendship, diverted dreams, and heavy grief ... powerful and nuanced feminist fiction.” - Quill & Quire.
And Omar El Akkad makes a welcome return virtual visit, having previously read with us for his brilliant, nominated novel, What Strange Paradise (Knopf). “This extraordinary book carries a message, not of a trite and clichéd hope, but of a greater universal humanism, the terrifying idea that, ultimately, there are no special distinctions among us, that in fact we are all very much in the same boat.” – New York Times.