André Alexis has won the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for his novel Fifteen Dogs. The award was presented at an event held last night at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.
Published by Coach House Books, Fifteen Dogs is the second in a series of five planned titles that loosely retell Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1968 film Teorema. The book is also nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the winner of which will be revealed Nov. 10.
While accepting the award, Alexis – whose next title is Hidden Keys, a take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island set in Toronto — thanked Coach House and other independent publishers. Following the event, he told Q&Q that he had “continuing admiration for the small presses,” naming Coach House and Biblioasis, which are “dedicated to continuing the tradition of Canadian literature.”
The full list of Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize finalists are:
- André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs (Coach House Books)
- Elizabeth Hay, His Whole Life (McClelland & Stewart)
- Pamela Mordecai, Red Jacket (TAP Books)
- Russell Smith, Confidence (Biblioasis)
- John Vaillant, The Jaguar’s Children (Knopf Canada)
Several other awards were also presented at the event, hosted by journalist Elizabeth Renzetti. Richard Wagamese received the Matt Cohen Award, a lifetime-achievement prize honouring a body of work. Kids’ author Jan Thornhill was presented with the $20,000 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. Karen Solie took home the $25,000 Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, awarded to a poet in mid-career for a body of work. Annabel Lyon was named the 35th recipient of the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award, awarded for a body of work to a writer in mid-career. Deirdre Dore received the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story, “The Wise Baby,” originally published in Geist.