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Margaret Atwood, Andre Alexis compete on Giller Prize longlist dominated by previous finalists

(Shannon Ross)

It was a doubly sweet day for Margaret Atwood as her forthcoming novel, The Testaments (McClelland & Stewart), landed on the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist and was also longlisted for this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize. The much-anticipated follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale will be released internationally on Sept. 10.

Atwood previously took home the Giller in 1996 for her historical novel Alias Grace, and was subsequently nominated for Oryx and Crake (2003) and The Year of the Flood (2009). She withdrew her novel Maddaddam from consideration in 2013 in order to sit on the jury for the prize’s 20th-anniversary year.

The longlist for the $100,000 Giller Prize is split between familiar names and a few new contenders. Jurors Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda, José Teodoro, Aminatta Forna, and Aleksandar Hemon selected the 12 titles out of the 117 submissions up for consideration.

Joining Atwood on the Giller longlist is André Alexis for the fourth title in his quincunx cycle, Days By Moonlight (Coach House Books). The Toronto author has three nominations for previous works, and won the prize in 2015 for his novel Fifteen Dogs. Other repeat finalists include David Bezmozgis for Immigrant City (HarperCollins), Michael Christie for Greenwood (M&S), Michael Crummey’s The Innocents (Doubleday Canada), Steven Price for Lampedusa (M&S), and Alix Ohlin for Dual Citizens (House of Anansi Press).

Toronto-based Anansi has two first-time finalists on this year’s list: Megan Gail Coles’s Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club and Frying Plantain, the debut novel by Zalika Reid-Benta.

Rounding out the list are three more Giller first-timers: Adam Foulds for Dream Sequence (Biblioasis), K.D. Miller for Late Breaking (Biblioasis), and Ian Williams for Reproduction (Random House Canada).

Here is the full list:

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 30 with the winner revealed at a televised gala in Toronto on Nov. 18.