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Announcing the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist in Accessible Formats

Monday, September 26, 2016

With thanks to the support from the Scotiabank Giller Prize, we are excited to announce that four of this year's six shortlisted titles are available in accessible formats to readers with print disabilities through NNELS on the day of their national announcement. Congratulations to the shortlisted publishers and authors!

We first worked with the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015, and were pleased to release the shortlisted titles in accessible formats on their announcement date.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to highlight the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. The prize awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $10,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.

The shortlist titles appear below, and are also available through the NNELS Giller Prize 2016 collection. The collection also includes the longlisted titles whose publishers sent us files (thanks to Coach House Books, Biblioasis, HarperCollins Canada, and Wolsak and Wynn Publishers). Two of the the shortlisted books are commercially available in accessible formats. If you or someone you know want to borrow the e-text or audiobook from your library, please ask your local librarian for assistance.

Who'll win this year's prize? Find out November 7th!

The 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, by Mona Awad

This book is available commercially in audio and ebook formats. Please check your local library's collection for the book. If you have any issues with getting this title in a format that is accessible to you, please contact NNELS.

Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?

Yiddish for Pirates, by Gary Barwin

Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates recounts the compelling story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion.
     From a present-day Florida nursing home, the wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps. The story begins in Spain during the Inquisition, a dangerous place and time to be Jewish, so Moishe joins a band of hidden Jews trying to preserve some forbidden books. He falls in love with a young woman, Sarah, and though they are separated by circumstance, Moishe's wanderings are motivated as much by their connection as by his quest for loot and freedom. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, Moishe travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Moishe eventually becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while seeking the ultimate booty: the Fountain of Youth.

The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue

This book is available commercially in audio and ebook formats. Please check your local library's collection for the book. If you have any issues with getting this title in a format that is accessible to you, please contact NNELS.

A village in 1850s Ireland is baffled by Anna O’Donnell’s fast. A little girl appears to be thriving after months without food, and the story of this 'wonder' has reached fever pitch. Tourists flock in droves to the O'Donnell family's modest cabin, and an international journalist is sent to cover the sensational story. Enter Lib, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale, who is hired to keep watch for two weeks and determine whether or not Anna is a fraud. As Anna deteriorates, Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child, but for getting to the root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.

The Party Wall, by Catherine Leroux

Catherine Leroux’s The Party Wall shifts between and ties together stories about pairs joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she may not be the biological mother of her own son despite having given birth to him; a brother and sister unite, as their mother dies, to search for their long-lost father; two young sisters take a detour home, unaware of the tragedy that awaits; and a political couple—when the husband accedes to power in a post-apocalyptic future state—is shaken by the revelation of their own shared, if equally unknown, history.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing, by Madeleine Thien

At the centre of this epic tale are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow's ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai's daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story.

The Best Kind of People, by Zoe Whittall

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

To the shock of his family and community, George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual assault at a prestigious prep school in Connecticut. While he awaits his trial in jail, his family is left to pick up the pieces. His wife, Joan, a trauma nurse, is unable to triage her emotional reactions, and vaults between rage and denial. Their daughter Sadie, the consummate overachiever, finds herself paralyzed on her boyfriend's couch with a bong, while a local author attempts to exploit her story. Their son, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, assists in his fathers defense while wrestling with the unhappy memories of his own teen years in high school. Unfolding over a one-year period, the novel focuses on the Woodbury family as they struggle to support George while privately grappling with the possibility of his guilt.