Annal: 2006 Giller Prize for Fiction

Results of the Giller Prize in the year 2006.

Book:Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

Vincent Lam

With their scalpel-sharp prose and unflinching gaze, the stories in Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures introduce a powerful new voice in Canadian fiction.

In Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Vincent Lam holds in delicate and skillful tension black humour, investigations of both common and extraordinary moral dilemmas, and a sometimes shockingly realistic and matter-of-fact portrait of today’s medical profession.

He brings to vivid and convincing life the disparate but interdependent worlds of school and home, heartbreaking young love and life-altering fear in stories that introduce us to Fitz, Ming, Chen, and Sri, young medical school students and doctors in Toronto. …[more]

Book:De Niro's Game

De Niro's Game: A Novel

Rawi Hage

In Rawi Hage’s astonishing and unforgettable novel, a famous quote by Camus becomes a touchstone for two young men caught in Lebanon’s civil war. Bassam and George are childhood best friends who have grown to adulthood in wartorn Beirut. Now they must choose their futures: to stay in the city and consolidate power through crime; or to go into exile abroad, alienated from the only existence they have known. Bassam chooses one path: Obsessed with leaving Beirut, he embarks on a series of petty crimes to finance his departure. Meanwhile, George builds his power in the underworld of the city and embraces a life of military service, crime for profit, killing, and drugs.

Told in the voice of Bassam, De Niro’s Game is a beautiful, explosive portrait of a contemporary young man shaped by a lifelong experience of war. …[more]

Book:Home Schooling

Home Schooling

Carol Windley

From the acclaimed author of Visible Light comes a collection of seven outstanding stories, each set against the rural landscape of Vancouver Island and the cities of the Pacific Northwest. In these stories the memories and dreams of characters are examined, revealing them to be both cages and keys to the cages.

The life-lessons learned by the characters are often as complicated and painful as they are illuminating. In the title story, two sisters fall in love with their math tutor on one of the Gulf Islands, inhabited equally by the ghosts of the misfits and Hollywood stars who came to live there, and the children of an alternative school, run by the girls’ criminally optimistic father. In “Sand and Frost,” a young girl drops out of UBC, returns home, and discovers that her domineering grandmother is the sole survivor of a shocking act of family violence. In “What Saffi Knows,” a child, unable to explain to her self-involved parents, struggles with the knowledge of the whereabouts of another missing child. In these remarkable seven stories, Carol Windley creates a sense of place and of people that breathe the cool wet air of a spring morning on Gabriola Island.

Book:The Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception

Gaétan Soucy

East-end Montreal in the mid-1920s. A popular restaurant is razed by an arsonist. Seventy-five people perish in the inferno. While strolling with his wheelchair-ridden father, a man furtively salvages a charred icon from the ruins. He is Remouald Tremblay, a self-effacing bank clerk whose pocket holds a treasured rabbit’s foot and whose memory contains an unspeakable hell.

Gaétan Soucy’s The Immaculate Conception, with its echoes of the writing of Edgar Allan Poe and Fyodor Dostoevsky, illuminates the sublime, the uncanny, and the horrific that burns at the core of ordinary lives.

Originally published in 1994 as L’Immaculée conception, this is the novel that established Gaétan Soucy as a powerful new literary force in Quebec.

Book:The Perfect Circle

The Perfect Circle

Pascale Quiviger, Sheila Fischman

Marianne, a young Montrealer, has come to live in Tuscany to draw and write and examine her life. Here she meets Marco, a temptingly seductive man who still lives in his mother’s house in the village and who’s not prepared to commit himself to anything resembling a shared life. Though he breaks her heart, again and again, Marianne can only avoid him by returning to Canada.

This first novel by Pascale Quiviger is marked by its luminous language and its unstinting look at what makes Marianne, and Marco, and, indeed, an entire village and the world beyond it, tick.

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