Suzette Mayr has been named the winner of the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel, The Sleeping Car Porter, published by Coach House Books, taking home $100,000 courtesy of Scotiabank.
Of the winning book, the jury wrote:
“Suzette Mayr brings to life –believably, achingly, thrillingly –a whole world contained in a passenger train moving across the Canadian vastness, nearly one hundred years ago. As only occurs in the finest historical novels, every page in The Sleeping Car Porter feels alive and immediate –and eerily contemporary. The sleeping car porter in this sleek, stylish novel is named R.T. Baxter –called George by the people upon whom he waits, as is every other Black porter. Baxter’s dream of one day going to school to learn dentistry coexists with his secret life as a gay man, and in Mayr’s triumphant novel we follow him not only from Montreal to Calgary, but into and out of the lives of an indelibly etched cast of supporting characters, and, finally, into a beautifully rendered radiance.”
Every page in The Sleeping Car Porter feels alive and immediate – and eerily contemporary.
Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury
Suzette Mayr is the author of the novels Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall, Monoceros, Moon Honey, The Widows, and Venous Hum. The Widows was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region, and has been translated into German. Moon Honey was shortlisted for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Best First Book and Best Novel Awards. Monoceros won the ReLit Award, the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize, was longlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize, and shortlisted for a Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. She and her partner live in a house in Calgary close to a park teeming with coyotes.
All five authors on the 2022 shortlist were on-hand at our offices to read from their books at a “Between the Pages” event a week prior to the award ceremony.
- Kim Fu for her short story collection, Lesser-Known Monsters of the 21st Century, published by Coach House Books
- Rawi Hage for his short story collection, Stray Dogs, published by Knopf Canada
- Tsering Yangzom Lama for her novel, We Measure the Earth With Our Bodies, published by McClelland & Stewart
- Noor Naga for her novel, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English, published by Graywolf Press
About the Prize
The Giller Prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994, highlights the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. In 2005, the prize teamed up with Scotiabank who increased the winnings four-fold. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller by her husband Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch, who passed away in August 2017.
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