Four novels and a short story collection have been shortlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize and its $100,000 grand prize. The works of the five Canadian authors were chosen out of a longlist of 12 and a total of 132 works submitted for the prestigious Canadian literary award, whose winner gets $100,000. The other finalists each get $10,000.

The authors named to the shortlist are:

“This year's powerhouse lineup features five enormously talented Canadian writers,” said Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize. “The books on this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist are wildly different but equally absorbing. The common throughlines are masterful storytelling and depth of literary expression."

This year’s Giller prize jury comprised Canadian authors Zalika Reid-Benta (jury chair), Megan Gail Cole and Joshua Whitehead, Malaysian novelist Tash Aw and American author Joshua Ferris.

The winner of the prize will be announced during the Scotiabank Giller Prize broadcast on Nov. 8 on CBC, presented commercial-free by Scotia Wealth Management. The event will feature Canadian actor Sun-Hyung Lee and poet, artist and performer Rupi Kaur.

“Scotiabank is thrilled to continue to support this celebration of excellence in Canadian literature,” said John Doig, Executive Vice President, Retail Sales, Scotiabank. “Through another challenging year, Scotiabank remains committed to supporting arts and culture, and the immense talents of Canadians across the country.”

Take a closer look at the 2021 finalists:

Omar El Akkad

Nominated work: Novel What Strange Paradise, published by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

Publishers’ description of the book:

“From the widely acclaimed author of American War: a new novel — beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving — that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child's eyes.” Read more

Angélique Lalonde

Nominated work: Story collection Glorious Frazzled Beings, published by House of Anansi

Publisher’s description of the book:

“Home is where we love, suffer, and learn. Some homes we chose, others are inflicted upon us, and still others are bodies we are born into. In this astounding collection of stories, human and more-than-human worlds come together in places we call home.” Read more


Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onubia

Nominated work: Novel The Son of The House, published by Dundurn Press

Publisher’s description of the book:

“Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.” Read more


Jordan Tannahill

Nominated work: Novel The Listeners, published by HarperCollins Canada

Publisher’s description of the book:

“The Listeners is an electrifying novel that treads the thresholds of faith, conspiracy and mania. Compelling and exhilarating, it forces us to consider how strongly we hold on to what we perceive, and the way different views can tear a family apart.” Read more


Miriam Toews

Nominated work: Novel Fight Night, published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

Publisher’s description of the book:
The beloved author of bestsellers Women Talking, All My Puny Sorrows, and A Complicated Kindness returns with a funny, smart, headlong rush of a novel full of wit, flawless writing, and a tribute to perseverance and love in an unusual family. Read more