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The Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist Available in Accessible Formats

Congratulations to the five shortlist finalists of the Scotiabank Giller Prize! Thanks to the support of The Scotiabank Giller Prize, we are excited to announce the shortlisted titles are available in accessible formats to readers with print disabilities through the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), on the same day that they are announced across the country.

“We are proud to support NNELS in their efforts to bring these outstanding authors to a wider audience, particularly those without access to traditional published books,” said Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director of The Scotiabank Giller Prize. While approximately 10% of Canadians cannot read standard books due to print disabilities related to vision, mobility, or cognitive impairments, less than 5% of printed material is available in accessible formats. “We share a commitment to reading excellent Canadian writing, no matter the format,” said Ben Hyman, Executive Director of the BC Libraries Cooperative, on behalf of NNELS.

The shortlist titles appear below, and are also available through the NNELS Giller Prize 2015 collection. Can you predict which author will win this year's prize? Find out on November 10th!

About the Scotiabank Giller Prize

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. Visit us at

About the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

NNELS is a digital public library of downloadable titles for people in Canada with perceptual disabilities. It is also a growing network of provincial and territorial governments, readers, community and advocacy organizations, librarians, publishers, and accessible format producers from across the country, all working together to increase access to Canadian libraries' collections of print material. NNELS is funded and supported by the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. Please visit for more information.


Media Inquiries:

Michelle Kadarusman, Scotiabank Giller Prize
T - 647 897 6017

Ben Hyman, BC Libraries Cooperative (on behalf of NNELS)
T – 1 855 383 5761 Extension 1001

The Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist Titles, 2015

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

What does it mean to be alive? To think, to feel, to love and to envy? André Alexis explores all of this and more in the extraordinary Fifteen Dogs, an insightful and philosophical meditation on the nature of consciousness. It’s a novel filled with balancing acts: humour juxtaposed with savagery, solitude with the desperate need to be part of a pack, perceptive prose interspersed with playful poetry. A wonderful and original piece of writing that challenges the reader to examine their own existence and recall the age old question, what’s the meaning of life?

Arvida by Samuel Archibald

Samuel Archibald’s stories come from over there: way, way over there. They live in the woods, hunting for creatures that may or may not exist, and they sometimes go surging down the highway at reckless speeds. At other times, they freeze, paralysed by the strange sounds that should not be coming from empty rooms in very old houses. This writing – so wise and funny and impeccably crafted – is the best kind of gossip: it tells us everything we need to know, the real dirt, about this place and about all the people, the true 'characters,' we meet wandering up and down the cryptic streets of a real but mythic Arvida. There is a lot of whispering going on in this town, a lot of information that strains credulity, a lot of laughter, a lot of suspense, a bit of fear. Arvida is just like life: a tender, sometimes terrifying, mystery unfolding before our eyes.

Outline by Rachel Cusk

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

Compulsively readable and dazzlingly intelligent, Rachel Cusk’s Outline follows a writer’s journey to Athens to teach a summer writing course. Along the way she encounters a cast of characters who share with her the outlines of their own life stories. The result is a novel of breathtaking skill and originality. Perfectly paced, without a word out of place, Outline reminds us of the truly formidable power that good literature has to change our hearts and our minds.

Martin John by Anakana Schofield

Stylish and provocative, Martin John comes at you as soft and lyrical as a folk song. But like the tune that refuses to stop repeating itself, it is hauntingly about all those memories of suspect desires and guilty pleasures, of knowing right from wrong, of wanting to do what even your mamma would want you to do but maybe you just can’t. As readers, we find Martin John a tantalizing reflection on living the contradictions in every identity and of definitively knowing what is real. At its heart, this is a bittersweet story of personal confrontations such as asking do I always want what others—even my mother—want for me.

Daydreams of Angels by Heather O'Neill

This is a work of acute charm and radically deft imagination. Whether probing the behaviour of clones for some sign of a relationship between genes and genius, eavesdropping on the anecdotes of abandoned dolls, or detailing the particulars of ‘ A Portrait Of The Marquis de Sade As A Young Girl’, O'Neill's stories continually spar with that which so often defines our lives or limits our daring - the problem of pain. Here are characters born of a distinctive sensibility and sent forth to chart the strange and volatile terrain where grace is found, lost, and found again. There’s no thrill quite like encountering tales this tall, and few tall tales offer up their gifts this freely.