Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Mark: Giller Prize Winner Announced

A little bit of a shocker earlier this week with the announcement of Linden MacIntyre as the winner of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Bishop's Man is MacIntyre's latest novel takes on the controversial topic of the Catholic Church and its never ending stream of sexual abuse allegations.

From the Globe and Mail:
Veteran investigative reporter Linden MacIntyre scored a surprise upset Tuesday night by winning the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize for excellence in Canadian literature.

Mr. MacIntyre's novel about corruption in the Catholic church, The Bishop's Man , beat four highly regarded literary titles to take the main prize.

Attributing his success to “an accident of consensus,” Mr. MacIntyre paid tribute to his fellow finalists and urged a glamorous crowd at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel to “buy their books.”

He also acknowledged his colleagues at the CBC and other struggling media outlets. “I just want to involve them in this,” he said. Mr. MacIntyre also paid tribute to the people of Cape Breton, among whom the novel is set, “and last but not least, the priests and nuns who are struggling to do their jobs in spite of the failures of their leadership.”

Mr. MacIntyre's The Bishop's Man chronicles the emerging crisis of conscience in a worldly priest who has been assigned to keep a lid on church-related sex scandals that are destroying the lives of the faithful in rural Cape Breton. Super topical but not even slightly sensational, it is “a brave novel, conceived and written with impressive delicacy and understanding,” according to the Giller jury.

Perhaps the best known of all the finalists, Mr. MacIntyre, 66, is a veteran journalist who first came to national prominence for his work with The Journal , CBC's groundbreaking newsmagazine, and currently co-hosts The Fifth Estate , the network's investigative journalism program. He is the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism and two national non-fiction prizes for his most recent book, a boyhood memoir called Causeway: A Passage from Innocence . The Bishop's Man is his second novel.

Mr. MacIntyre said Tuesday night he is planning to write a third novel to complete the trilogy. “I'm hoping these characters will grow older. I'm hoping they will deal with some of the problems of age, which I know something about.”

As for the prize money, he said he hopes to share it “with some of the people who are important to me.”

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