Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Does anyone care about the Giller?

This Magazine Staff

I’m not trying to be snarky, but the Giller nominees have just been announced
Alice Munro, Wayson Choy, Shauna Baldwin, Miriam Toews, and Paul Quarrington. Apart from one Quarrington (Whale Music) and the few Alice Munro short stories I was forced to read in grade 10, I’ve never read anything by any of these writers, so I’m totally talking out of my ass here. But don’t these names just strike boredom into your heart?
Here’s the last line of the review of Choy’s book, in today’s Globe:
“In delicate balance, Choy holds the ghosts of the past and the resolve to survive in the present, two countries, two cultures, two worlds.”
Apart from Quarrington, that sentence could probably have appeared in any review of any book by any of the Giller nominees; indeed, it could have been cut-and-pasted into any review of any CanLit book from the past twenty years. Ondaatje? Check. Michaels? Check. Urquart? Shields? Mistry? Check. Check. Double check.
Who reads this stuff? Does anyone actually like it? Andy Lamey, if you’re out there, please help.

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