Ian Williams has been named the winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Reproduction, published by Random House Canada, taking home $100,000 courtesy of Scotiabank.
The announcement was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by Canadian singer-songwriter and actress Jann Arden and attended by 450 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. The gala was broadcast live commercial-free presented by Scotia Wealth Management on CBC, CBC Radio One and streamed live on CBCBooks.ca.
This year the Prize celebrates its 26th anniversary.
The 2019 finalists were:
- David Bezmozgis for
his short story collection Immigrant City, published by HarperCollins
- Megan Gail Coles
for her novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club,
published by House of Anansi Press
- Michael Crummey for
his novel The Innocents, published by Doubleday Canada
- Alix Ohlin
for her novel Dual Citizens, published by House of Anansi Press
- Steven Price
for his novel Lampedusa, published by McClelland & Stewart
- Ian Williams
for his novel Reproduction, published by Random House Canada
The longlist, shortlist, and the winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize were selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Canadian authors Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda (jury chair) and Canadian playwright José Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.
Of the winning book, the jury wrote:
Ian Williams’s Reproduction is many things at once. It’s an engrossing
story of disparate people brought together and also a masterful unfolding of
unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise
separated by race, class, gender and geography. It’s a pointed and often
playful plotting out of individual and shared stories in the close spaces of
hospital rooms, garages, mansions and apartments, and a symphonic performance
of resonant and dissonant voices, those of persons wanting to impress,
persuade, deny, or beguile others, and always trying again.
Ian Williams is the author of Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone’s Anything, winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. He was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Williams completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Programme. He has held fellowships or residencies from the Banff Center, Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Palazzo Rinaldi in Italy. He was also a scholar at the National Humanities Center Summer Institute for Literary Study and was a judge for the 2018 Griffin prize. His writing has appeared in several North American journals and anthologies.
I couldn’t be happier for Ian. His novel resonated deeply with the
jury, evoking time, place and character that only the best works of art can
achieve. I feel confident that this book will continue to find an even larger
and more devoted audience across Canada and throughout the world.
– Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize
“Congratulations to Ian Williams for winning the 2019 Scotiabank Giller
Prize! Scotiabank is very proud to be a part of raising and advancing the
profile of Canada’s best authors, both across our country and around the world.
We know that they make Canadians richer, exposing us to new ideas. Congratulations
again to Ian Williams, and to all of the short and longlisted authors. Your
words have touched the lives of readers across Canada and around the
– John Doig, Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Scotiabank