TORONTO, Nov. 13,
2023 /CNW/ - Sarah Bernstein has been named the
winner of the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel, Study
for Obedience published by Knopf Canada, taking home
$100,000 courtesy of Scotiabank.
The announcement was made at an award ceremony hosted by
Canadian TV icon and author Rick
Mercer, attended by over 300 guests. The gala was broadcast
live commercial-free presented by Scotia Wealth Management on CBC,
CBC Radio, and streamed live on CBC Gem and CBCBooks.ca.
This year, the Prize celebrates its 30th
The remaining finalists, listed below, will each receive
- Eleanor Catton for her
novel Birnam Wood, published by McClelland &
- Kevin Chong for his novel
The Double Life of Benson Yu,
published by Simon & Schuster
- Dionne Irving for her
short story collection The Islands: Stories, published by
- CS Richardson for his
novel All The Colour in the World, published by Knopf
The longlist, shortlist, and winner of the 2023 Scotiabank
Giller Prize were selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel:
Canadian authors Ian Williams (jury
chair, winner of 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize), Sharon Bala and Brian
Thomas Isaac, and American author Rebecca Makkai and Indian-British writer, Neel
Mukherjee. On September 6, the jury
narrowed down the 145 submitted works to 12 to create the longlist.
The shortlist of five was selected on October 11. And just this very morning, the jury
met to choose tonight's winner.
Of the winning book, 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."
Sarah Bernstein is
from Montreal, Canada, and lives
in Scotland. Her writing has
appeared in Granta among other publications. Her
first novel, The Coming Bad Days, was published in
2021. In 2023, she was named one of Granta's Best of
Young British Novelists.
Relive the gala, streaming now on CBC Gem and CBCBooks.ca.
Images from tonight's gala will be available on the media
"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."
Elana Rabinovitch, Executive
Director, Scotiabank Giller Prize
"Congratulations to Sarah
Bernstein for winning the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize for
Study for Obedience – a literary work I believe will inspire
and invigorate readers and future storytellers for years to come.
At Scotiabank, we are proud of our longstanding partnership with
the Giller Foundation. This is an especially significant year as we
celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Prize which
continues to captivate readers in Canada and around the world with novels and
short story collections that are provocative, heart-warming,
challenging, and intimate in their own way. I'm proud that the
Prize continues to bring art to more Canadians, making it more
accessible for lifetime-long readers, and new readers alike."
Laura Curtis Ferrera, Chief
Marketing Officer, Scotiabank
The winner will be interviewed at The Toronto Reference Library
by Scotiabank Giller Prize jury chair and 2019 winner
Ian Williams, at 7 p.m. ET on November
The winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize will also be honoured
with an in-person interview as part of the 2024 San Miguel Writer's
Conference & Literary Festival, on February 22, 2024. Other notable interviews have
included both Tom Hanks and
Matthew McConaughey, along with
Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Isabel
Wilkerson, Emma Donoghue, and
About the Prize
Founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994, the Giller Prize is
Canada's leading and most
influential literary prize for fiction. The Giller Effect has been
recognized industry-wide as one of the top drivers of book sales in
Canada. Scotiabank has been title
sponsor since 2005. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now awards
$100,000 annually to the author of
the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short story collection
published in English, and $10,000 to
each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of
Jack Rabinovitch's wife, the late
literary journalist, Doris
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