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2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize

2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize

The 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s most prestigious and richest literary award, celebrated its 30th anniversary with an eventful evening awards ceremony hosted by iconic Canadian comedian and author Rick Mercer at the posh Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto’s Yorkville on November 13.   This year’s winner, Sarah Bernstein, author of the novel “Study for Obedience,” who collects $100,000, virtually gave a winner’s acceptance speech from Scotland, where she just gave birth to a new baby 10 days ago.  Originally from Montreal, she now resides in Scotland, where she teaches creative writing.

“Her writing has appeared in Granta among other publications. Her first novel, The Coming Bad Days, was published in 2021.  In addition, in 2023, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.”

The other shortlist finalists were:

The 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, shortlist, and winner were selected by a distinguished

 jury composed of: Canadian authors Ian Williams (jury chair and winner of 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize), Sharon Bala and Brian Thomas Isaac, and American author Rebecca Makkai plus Indian-British writer, Neel Mukherjee.

Referring to the “Study for Obedience,” the jury wrote:

“The modernist experiment continues to burn incandescently in Sarah Bernstein’s slim novel, Study for Obedience. Bernstein asks the indelible question: what does a culture of subjugation, erasure, and dismissal of women produce? In this book, equal parts poisoned and sympathetic, Bernstein’s unnamed protagonist goes about exacting, in shockingly twisted ways, the price of all that the world has withheld from her. The prose refracts Javier Marias sometimes, at other times Samuel Beckett. It’s an unexpected and fanged book, and its own studied withholdings create a powerful mesmeric effect.”

Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize, gives “Sincere congratulations to Sarah Bernstein on her win tonight. Study for Obedience is a ground-breaking, contemplative novel about victimhood and survival, a story told with unnerving precision by an author at the top of her game.”

Toronto Arts and Events would like to thank the Taro Group for the invitation to the 2023 Giller Prize.

©2023 Photos & Article A.J. Lam; Website Design & Layout & TorontoArtsandEvents.  All Rights Reserved.   Reference:  Press Releases.  Legal Note: Torontoartsandevents may obtain free admission as a member of the press.


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