Second time lucky? That may be the case for York alumnus Joseph Boyden (BA Hons. ’91). He is one of 13 finalists announced earlier this week for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize worth $50,000 for the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English.
Boyden won the prize in 2008 for his novel Through Black Spruce. This year, his new novel, The Orenda (Hamish Hamilton Canada), which paints a visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, is up for the prize.
The novel opens with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen.
The jury comprised of Canadian writers Esi Edugyan and Margaret Atwood and American author Jonathan Lethem chose the finalists from a field of 147 books across the country.
Boyden is also the author of Three Day Road, which won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General Award for Fiction. His collection of stories, Born with a Tooth, was shortlisted for the Upper Canada Writer’s Craft Award.
The Giller Prize will announce the shortlist at a special ceremony Oct. 8 in Toronto. The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony to honour the finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 5 during a live broadcast on CBC Television at 9pm hosted by York alumnus Jian Ghomeshi (BA ’95) from CBC Radio One’s show “Q”.