So obviously, everyone wants to know who the winner was and that honour went to....
Will Ferguson for his novel "419"
Obviously this wasn't my choice for the winner and I must admit I was a little surprised when it was announced. I really enjoyed the book, but there were just others I enjoyed more. But that's the beauty of a literary prize - the books are diverse and we each have our personal tastes but what the books all have in common is great writing.
This win speaks to the strength of Canadian literature. It shows that CanLit is global, that our authors are diverse and that we have a rich literary landscape. Ferguson is a humour and travel writer and this is his first novel that is serious and dark. He is a very skilled writer and what I really appreciated about 419 was the research that went into it. It can be dangerous writing about cultures and countries you're not from so in depth, but Ferguson easily transports you deep into Nigeria without any trouble.
A special mention goes out to Alix Ohlin, Nancy Richler, Russell Wangersky and Kim Thuy for their amazing shortlisted novels that were all well-deserving of the acknowledgment, to the long listed authors and to every Canadian author out there who has contributed to the rich collection of work we affectionately call CanLit. Every year our writers continually put out amazing work that captures who we are as a country and people and it's another reason why I'm proud to be Canadian.
For more about 419 you can read my review here.
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