André Alexis, the 2010-11 Writer-In-Residence in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, was named the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books, at ceremonies Tuesday night.
Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Judges wrote of Fifteen Dogs:
“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?”
Among the shortlist of five books announced in October, two books, Arvida by Samuel Archibald and Martin John by Anakana Schofield, were published by Biblioasis, a publishing house run by Dan Wells, MA’97 (History).