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Ondaatje, Coady, top shortlist for Giller prize

The six finalists for the 2011 Giller Prize – awarded to the best Canadian English novel or short story – were announced Tuesday.

Lynn Coady and Michael Ondaatje are among the contenders for the $50,000 prize, which will be awarded on Nov. 8.

The award was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. Scotiabank became a co-sponsor of the prize in 2005.  

Coady was nominated for her novel The Antagonist, while Ondaatje was nominated for The Cat’s Table.

The other nominees are:

  • David Bezmozgis for his novel The Free World
  • Patrick deWitt for his novel The Sisters Brothers
  • Esi Edugyan for her novel Half-Blood Blues
  • Zsuzsi Gartner for her short story collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

Both Edugyan and deWitt were shortlisted Britain’s Man Booker Prize – the only Canadians to be nominated — and for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Last year, the prize went to first-time novelist Johanna Skibsrud for her first novel, The Sentimentalists.