Port Hawkesbury native Lynn Coady wins Giller Prize
Writer Lynn Coady made Cape Breton proud once again with her win of the Giller Prize last week, Canada’s most prestigious prize for literature.
2013 Giller Prize winner Lynn Coady is flanked by award founder Jack Rabinovitch (left) and Scotiabank's Brian Porter following the announcement. Photo credit: Tom Sandler.
Coady won the prize for her most recent collection of eight short stories released this past summer called Hellgoing. The collection was also previously short-listed for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
The award is also the most generous financial prize in the country for literature – $50,000 for the winner and $5,000 for the finalists.
The televised event was held at a downtown gala in Toronto last week and was hosted by the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi.
The other finalists for this year’s Giller were: Dennis Bock for his novel Going Home Again; Craig Davidson for his novel Cataract City; Lisa Moore for her novel Caught and Dan Vyleta for his novel The Crooked Maid.
It was Coady’s first time winning the Giller prize but not her first time being nominated for it. She was one of six Canadian authors who were in the running for the 2011 Giller for her novel, The Antagonist.
Coady could barely hold back tears when she accepted the award.
Coady said she was quite surprised and delighted for her unexpected win for a book of short stories as in the 20 year history of the Giller it usually goes to novels.
Born in 1970, Coady was raised in Port Hawkesbury with roots in Margarees. She is now based in Edmonton, but her parents still live in Dartmouth, and Coady was in Margaree to read at a Canada Day literary event last year. It’s the second time in four years the Giller has gone to a Cape Breton-born writer with Linden MacIntyre winning the award in 2009 for his novel, The Bishop’s Man.
After attending Carleton University Coady went on to graduate from the University of British Columbia with a master’s of fine arts degree. She has also worked as an editor and has taught creative writing at many universities in Canada.
Coady is also the award-winning author of the novels Strange Heaven, Saints of Big Harbour and Mean Boy and a previous collection of short stories called Play the Monster Blind.
Here’s what Coady’s publisher, House of Anansi, had to say about the Giller prize winning collection:
“A young nun charged with talking an anorexic out of her religious fanaticism toys with the thin distance between practicality and blasphemy. A strange bond between a teacher and a schoolgirl takes on ever deeper, and stranger, shapes as the years progress. A bride-to-be with a penchant for nocturnal bondage can’t seem to stop bashing herself up in the light of day. Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history.”
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