Will Ferguson was named the 2012 winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel 419. The announcement was made at the conclusion of a Oct. 30 dinner and award ceremony at Toronto's new Ritz-Carlton aired on CBC Television. Hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, the black-tie event was attended by more than 500 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. It was also live-streamed on CBC Books.
Now in its 19th year, the Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada's largest annual literary prize. It awards $50,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $5,000 to each of the four finalists. This year's shortlist of five authors and their books included:
- Will Ferguson, 419, a novel published by Viking Canada/Penguin Canada
- Alix Ohlin, Inside, a novel published by House of Anansi Press
- Nancy Richler, The Imposter Bride, a novel published by HarperCollins Publishers
- Kim Thuy, Ru, a novel translated by Sheila Fischman and published by Random House Canada
- Russell Wangersky, Whirl Away, a short story collection published by Thomas Allen Publishers
"Will Ferguson's 419 points in the direction of something entirely new: the Global Novel. It is a novel emotionally and physically at home in the poverty of Lagos and in the day-to-day of North America. It tells us the ways in which we are now bound together and reminds us of the things that will always keep us apart. It brings us the news of the world far beyond the sad, hungry faces we see on CNN and CBC and far beyond the spreadsheets of our pension plans. Ferguson is a true travel writer, his eye attuned to the last horrible detail. He is also a master at dialogue and suspense. It is tempting to put 419 in some easy genre category, that would only servie to deny its accomplishment and its genius."