First-time novelist Ian Williams wins $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize

TORONTO — First-time novelist Ian Williams singled out a particular member of the viewers as he accepted the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize — Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood.

Williams choked again tears as he took to the stage to obtain the honour at a glitzy Toronto gala on Monday night time for his debut novel, “Reproduction.”

“I’ve got notes here for people I need to thank, but maybe I’ll just start with my heart first,” Williams stated. “Margaret Atwood over there is the first book I bought with my own money at a bookstore in Brampton.”

“Reproduction” traces the ties that bind a cross-cultural chosen household in Williams’ hometown of Brampton, Ont.

The story begins when a sober-minded teenager from a small island nation and the listless inheritor to a German household fortune meet within the hospital room the place their moms lay dying.

From there, Williams unspools a story so entangled it strains towards novelistic conference.

Jury members praised the Vancouver-based author for his “masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender and geography.”

“Reproduction,” revealed by Random House Canada, was a finalist for this yr’s Amazon First Novel Award.

Williams’ short-fiction assortment, “Not Anyone’s Anything” received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2012, and he is been a rising star in poetry circles. His 2013 assortment, “Personals,” was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award.

Williams was the 2014-2015 writer-in-residence within the University of Calgary’s distinguished writers program, and has held quite a few different fellowships and residencies.

He is at present a Griffin Poetry Prize trustee and affiliate professor of poetry in University of British Columbia’s inventive writing program.

Williams beat out titles by David Bezmozgis, Michael Crummey, Megan Gail Coles, Alix Ohlin and Steven Price.

Before the Giller winner was introduced, a who’s who of Canada’s cultural scene walked the Giller purple carpet on the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Giller government director Elana Rabinovitch stated this yr’s brief listing was distinct not solely as a result of there have been six finalists as a substitute of the same old 5, however for the vary of time intervals, types and geography the books characterize.

“(The finalists) come from everywhere and these voices are strong and powerful and resonant,” Rabinovitch stated.

Atwood stated she selected to rejoice her 80th birthday on the literary bash at Rabinovitch’s behest.

“Elana made me do it,” Atwood informed reporters with amusing.

As her international guide tour for “The Testaments” winds down, Atwood stated she’s hoping to compensate for the most recent Canadian reads.

“There’s some interesting non-fiction books as well, and I would say quite a lot of fiction,” Atwood stated. “I haven’t ploughed my way through it, but I will.”

Singer-songwriter and actress Jann Arden, who hosted the televised night time’s festivities, serenaded Atwood with a birthday tune.

“Happy birthday to you. You write such good books,” Arden crooned. “Now Canada’s famous for more than just maple syrup.”

The six finalists have been chosen from 117 submissions by a jury consisting of Canadian writers Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda and Jose Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean writer Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American writer Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.

The Giller awards $100,000 yearly to the writer of the perfect Canadian novel or brief story assortment revealed in English, and $10,000 to every of the finalists.

Last yr’s winner was Esi Edugyan for “Washington Black.”

This report by The Canadian Press was initially revealed Nov. 18, 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was initially revealed Nov. 18, 2019.

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