Lynn Coady’s intimate short story collection Hellgoing and Dan Vyleta’s post-war novel The Crooked Maid made this year’s Giller Prize short list announced on October 8. A week before the Giller announcement, Coady was told she made the cut for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, worth $25,000.
According to the jury, “The eight short stories in Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing “offer a stupendous range of attitudes, narrative strategies, and human situations, each complete and intricate, creating a world the reader enters as totally as that of a novel, or a dream. Yet the book as a whole is also magically united by Coady’s vivid and iconoclastic language, which brims with keen and sympathetic wit.
Whether from the perspective of a writer flailing in the social atmosphere of a professional conference, or a woman trying to extend forgiveness to a lover’s abusive father, Coady offers a worldview full of mournful humor, ready indignation, and vertiginous possibility; the reader feels in the presence of life itself.”
Coady is no stranger to the Giller Prize short list. She is the author of the bestselling novel The Antagonist, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the novels Mean Boy, Saints of Big Harbour, and Strange Heaven and the short story collection Play the Monster Blind.
She has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and has four times made the Globe and Mail’s annual list of Top 100 Books. Originally from Cape Breton, she now lives in Edmonton where she is a founding and senior editor of the award-winning magazine Eighteen Bridges.
Also vying for the $50,000 Giller Prize, is Dan Vyleta for his third novel The Crooked Maid, a dark and suspenseful novel set in post-war Vienna among the spectators in a criminal trial.
Vyleta, whose writing has been compared to works by Greene, Kafka, Dostoevsky, and Hitchcock, is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. After growing up in Germany, he left to attend university in the UK where he completed a Ph.D. in History at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
As a consequence of his wife accepting a professorship at the University of Alberta in 2007, he now calls Canada his home.
His debut novel, Pavel & I, gathered immediate international acclaim and was translated into eight languages. His second novel, The Quiet Twin, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Fiction Prize. This, his third novel, is a finalist for this year’s $50,000 Giller Prize.
See the complete short list at www.scotiabank.com/gillerprize
The winner will be unveiled at a gala in Toronto on November 5 and broadcast live on CBC-TV.