The literary awards season is upon us

by Sunita

Yesterday the Giller Prize longlist was announced. Last week the National Book Awards longlists were announced, comprising four old and one new categories: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, juvenile fiction, and now translated fiction. On Thursday the Booker shortlist is announced, and then next week the Goldsmiths shortlist is announced. That’s a lot of potential books to read. And no, I’m not planning on reading all of them. I will finish the Booker longlist (and keep posting my reviews). I have 1 1/2 books to go and hope to have the 1/2 done by Thursday. I’m intrigued by the Giller list and I’ve only read one book from the longlist, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, which is also a Booker longlist nominee. I’m planning to sample as many books as I can from the Giller and NBA longlists, but there’s no way I can read them before the shortlists are announced in October. I really enjoyed my Giller readings last year, though, not least because I hadn’t even heard of many of the books. The US literary industry is terrible at covering Canadian lit until there’s an award nomination unless the person is already well known. Here’s the longlist from the CBC website (links go to CBC pages which tell you more about the books and authors: Here’s the National Book Awards fiction longlist (links go to NBA pages on the authors): I’ve only read one of the list (An American Marriage) but I’ve have the Orange on the TBR and I’ve wanted to read the Hobson and Makkai. Of the other NBA lists I’m definitely reading Terrance Hayes’ new poetry collection, and there are several on the translated fiction list that are either in my TBR (Flights) or on my want-to-read list (One Part Woman, Disoriental, Trick). My favorite literary fiction award is probably the Goldsmiths, which is more “experimental” in its orientation, for want of a better word. There are frequently overlaps with the Booker but I always find new authors and books there. Some books I love, some books I DNF, but the reading journey has been consistently rewarding. Relevant dates:
  • Booker: Shortlist 20 September, Winner 16 October
  • Giller: Shortlist 1 October, Winner 19 November
  • Goldsmiths: Shortlist 26 October, Winner 14 November
  • National Book Awards: Shortlists 10 October, Winner 14 November
I swore I’d make progress on my TBR shelf the rest of the year. Hah.