We are thrilled to announce that Here the Dark by David Bergen has been nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize! The 2020 nominees were announced this morning by Ian Williams, the winner of last year’s award for his novel Reproduction, on a virtual live stream.
In a statement, publisher Dan Wells said, “All of us at Biblioasis are thrilled about David’s selection for this year’s Giller longlist. We feel quite strongly that Here the Dark is his strongest book to date. We’re particularly happy, in this pandemic-stricken year, when so many important books were a little lost or overlooked, for David’s wonderful collection to get a little more of the attention it deserves.”
David Bergen said, “I am thrilled that Here the Dark is on the Giller longlist. To be acknowledged by the jury, and to be with such a great company of writers—astonishing. So happy for my publisher, Biblioasis, as well.”
The Scotiabank Giller Prize is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. The prize was established in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian novel or short story collection published that year. The winner receives $100,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive $10,000. The shortlist will be announced virtually October 5, 2020.
Previous winners include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan, Heather O’Neil, Andre Alexis, Michael Ondaatje, and Mordecai Richler.
The jury members for this year’s prize are Canadian authors David Chariandy, Eden Robinson and Mark Sakamoto (jury chair), British critic and Editor of the Culture segment of the Guardian, Claire Armitstead, and Canadian/British author and journalist, Tom Rachman.
On choosing the longlist, the jury stated, “In this tumultuous year, the jurors took the responsibility bestowed upon us by the Scotiabank Giller Prize most seriously. We were determined to find the most powerful pieces of fiction published this year … We are proud of the collection of books that has emerged from our lengthy debates; and we believe that this longlist is but one clear reflection of the talent and global relevance of Canadian writers. To the nominees, we offer our sincere gratitude and our heartfelt congratulations.”
Here the Dark is one of three short story collections nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Dominoes At The Crossroads by Kaie Kellough and How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Other longlisted titles include Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson, Watching You Without Me by Lynn Coady, All I Ask by Eva Crocker, The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue, Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi, Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, Indians on Vacation by Thomas King, Consent by Annabel Lyon, Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, and the first graphic novel to be nominated for the Giller Prize, Clyde Fans by Seth.
The short stories in Here the Dark explore the spaces between doubt and belief, evil and good, obscurity and light. Following men and boys bewildered by their circumstances and swayed by desire, surprised by love and by their capacity for both tenderness and violence, and featuring a novella about a young woman who rejects the laws of her cloistered Mennonite community, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner David Bergen’s latest deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how we might be found.
This is the fifth time Bergen has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He won in 2005 for his novel The Time in Between. Here the Dark is his first title published with Biblioasis.
David Bergen has published eight novels and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Impac Dublin Literary Award, and a Pushcart Prize. In 2018 he was given the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.