Edmonton's Lynn Coady Captures Giller

Edmonton resident Lynn Coady's Hellgoing becomes only the fourth short story collection to receive the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada's most prestigious award for fiction

Lynn Coady's Hellgoing wins the 2013
Scotiabank Giller Prize.
BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

THE Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada's most sought-after and prestigious honour in literary fiction, with a cash prize of $50,000 for the year's top entry. Last week (Nov. 5), Edmonton's own Lynn Coady, 43, joined the ranks of Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood by capturing the 2013 Giller for her collection of short stories, Hellgoing (published by House of Anansi).

"I think probably the only way for me to keep it together is just to read from this page," an excited and nervous Coady said in her acceptance speech at Toronto's Ritz-Carlton. "So I'm gonna hold on to these papers for dear life.

"This is shocking and overwhelming," she continued. "I don't even like to cry in private, so this is very odd to me." This was the second time Coady, who was raised in Cape Breton, made the short list for the Giller, but her novel The Antagonist lost to Calgary's Esi Edugyan in 2011.

Hellgoing is Coady's premiere short story collection and is only the fourth time this format has won in the Giller's 20-year history. Before Hellgoing, Coady was nominated for the Governor General's Award for her first novel, 1998's Strange Heaven.

In 2000 the Globe and Mail hailed her follow-up, Play the Monster Blind, one of the "Best Books" of the year. She made that list again with her next two novels, Saints of Big Harbour (2002) and Mean Boy (2006). In addition to these works, the former Carlton and UBC student has also published articles for many national magazines and newspapers.

Here is the Scotiabank Giller's Jury Citation for Hellgoing: "The eight stories in Lynn Coady's Hellgoing offer a stupendous range of attitudes, narrative strategies, and human situations, each complete and intricate, creating a world the reader enters as totally as that of a novel, or a dream. Yet the book as a whole is also magically united by Coady's vivid and iconoclastic language, which brims with keen and sympathetic wit. Whether from the perspective of a writer flailing in the social atmosphere of a professional conference, or a woman trying to extend forgiveness to a lover's abusive father, Coady offers a worldview full of mournful humour, ready indignation, and vertiginous possibility; the reader feels in the presence of life itself."

Edmonton resident Lynn Coady won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her short story collection, Hellgoing.


If you'd like to purchase Lynn Coady's Hellgoing, click here.

Lynn Coady on CBC's Q radio show with Jian Ghomeshi, who hosted the Giller awards show.

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