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The Giller Prize Longlist For 2015 Includes Many Canadian Favourites

09/09/2015 04:16 EDT | Updated 09/09/2015 04:59 EDT
Carlos Osorio via Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 10: Author Sean Michaels wins the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Us Conductors. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

MONTREAL — Marina Endicott, Patrick deWitt and Heather O'Neill are among 12 authors vying for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Last year's winner, "Us Conductors" author Sean Michaels, announced the picks Wednesday in Montreal, where he outlined a long list stacked with established writers.

The longlist for the 2015 Giller Prize. Story continues below:

Giller Prize Longlist 2015

The Edmonton-based Endicott makes the cut with "Close to Hugh" (Doubleday Canada), a look at one week in the world of gallery-owner Hugh Argylle. He falls off a ladder early in the novel and in the ensuing days wrestles with his relationship to his ailing mother and the prospect of newfound love.

Endicott finds herself again chasing the $100,000 prize after her novel "Good to a Fault" was a finalist in 2008 and "The Little Shadows" was longlisted in 2011.

Vancouver Island's deWitt is in the running for his novel "Undermajordomo Minor" (House of Anansi Press). The gothic fairy tale follows Lucien (Lucy) Minor, a 17-year-old with a penchant for lying, as he leaves his village to work for a baron at the Castle Von Aux.

His comic western "The Sisters Brothers" was a literary sensation in 2011, winning the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and a Governor General's Literary Award. It was also a finalist for the Man Booker and Scotiabank Giller prizes.

Montreal's O'Neill is a contender for her story collection "Daydreams of Angels" (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.), which includes tales about a naive cult follower, the struggle of two young women in occupied Paris, and generations of failed Nureyev clones in post-Soviet Russia.

Her first novel, "Lullabies for Little Criminals," was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, while her follow-up, "The Girl Who Was Saturday Night," was a 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist.

The titles were chosen from a field of 168 books submitted by 63 publishers, which organizers say is a record number in the prize's 22-year history. A short list will be announced in Toronto on Oct. 5.

The annual prize awards $100,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. Each finalist gets $10,000.

Also on the long list were Rachel Cusk for "Outline" (Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.) and Michael Christie for his novel "If I Fall, If I Die" (McClelland & Stewart).

The books were chosen by a recently expanded five-member jury that included Irish author John Boyne, Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi.

The prize was established in 1994 by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. Its annual black-tie gala is a swank affair, attracting a who's who of the literary world and beyond.

The gala will be hosted by Rick Mercer and is set to air Nov. 10 on CBC-TV.

The complete long list can be found at

www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca.