Margaret Atwood, Andre Alexis earn spots on Giller Prize long list

Atwood’s ‘The Testaments,’ much-hyped sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ also shortlisted for Booker Prize

In a Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 file photo, Margaret Atwood arrives at the 16th Annual Hammer Museum Gala in Los Angeles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

In a Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 file photo, Margaret Atwood arrives at the 16th Annual Hammer Museum Gala in Los Angeles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

Previous Scotiabank Giller Prize winners Margaret Atwood and Andre Alexis are on this year’s long list for the $100,000 Canadian honour.

Esi Edugyan, who won her second Giller Prize last year, announced the dozen authors in line to succeed her at an event in St. John’s, N.L., on Tuesday.

Atwood is competing with “The Testaments,” which will be published by McClelland & Stewart on Sept. 10.

The much-hyped sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale” has also been shortlisted for the international Man Booker Prize.

Alongside Atwood, familiar names on the Giller long list include Alexis, a Trinidad native who grew up in Ottawa, for “Days by Moonlight,” published by Coach House Books.

Alexis was the 2015 winner for “Fifteen Dogs” while Atwood won the prize in 1996 for “Alias Grace.”

Also receiving nods this year are several previous Giller finalists: Michael Crummey for “The Innocents” (Doubleday Canada); Latvian-born, Toronto-raised author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis for the short story collection “Immigrant City” (HarperCollins Publishers); and Montreal-raised Alix Ohlin for ”Dual Citizens” (House of Anansi Press).

Earning a spot on the long list for a second time are Thunder Bay, Ont.-raised Michael Christie’s ”Greenwood” and Victoria poet and novelist Steven Price for “Lampedusa,” both published by McClelland & Stewart.

Other noted writers receiving Giller recognition include U.K.-born, Toronto-based Adam Foulds for “Dream Sequence” and Hamilton, Ont.-born K.D. Miller’s short story collection ”Late Breaking,” both published by Biblioasis.

Among the newcomers making the long list for their debut novels are Vancouver-based poet Ian Williams for ”Reproduction” (Random House Canada), and St. John’s, N.L.-based Megan Gail Coles for “Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club” (House of Anansi Press).

Toronto’s Zalika Reid-Benta is also in the running for her first short-story collection, “Frying Plantain,” published by Astoria, an imprint of House of Anansi Press.

Giller organizers say the long list was culled from 117 submissions by a jury panel featuring Canadian writers Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda and Jose Teodoro, joined by Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar Hemon.

The short list will be revealed on Sept. 30, with the winner to be named at a Toronto gala on Nov. 18.

The Canadian Press

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