A fiction reading guide for the CanLit awards trifecta

Awards season, we hardly knew ye. With the Writers’ Trust awards last week (including Atwood-Gibson winner Some Hellish), the Giller Prize winner announced this Monday (including winner The Sleeping Car Porter) and the Governor General’s awards due up next week, it’s hard to believe one of the most wide-ranging, eclectic awards seasons in recent memory has already come to a close. Keep the good vibes going with the lists, as well as some follow-up reads handpicked by ALU staff.


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Check out the shortlists for 2022’s three national literary fiction prizes. AND: if you’re wanting to read exclusively All Lit Up books, we’ve made some suggestions for alternates!

Atwood-Gibson Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction

Some Hellish by Nicholas Herring (Goose Lane Editions) *WINNERManam by Rima Elkouri, Translated by Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff (Mawenzi House)Querelle of Roberval by Kevin Lambert, Translated by Donald Winkler (Biblioasis)Ezra’s Ghosts by Darcy Tamayose (NeWest Press)Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi (House of Anansi Press)…for an on-ALU option, try Hotline by Dmitri Nasrallah (Véhicule Press) 

The Scotiabank Giller Prize

Lesser-Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu (Coach House Books)Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage (Penguin Random House Canada)…for an on-ALU option, try The Allspice Bath by Sonia Saikaley (Inanna Publications)We Measure the Earth With Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama (Penguin Random House Canada)…for an on-ALU option, try Sister Seen, Sister Heard by Kimia Eslah (Fernwood Publishing)The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr (Coach House Books) *WINNERIf an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga (Graywolf Press) try The Philistine by Leila Marshy (Linda Leith Publishing) 

The Governor General’s Award for Fiction, English

All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac (Brindle & Glass)Finding Edward by Sheila Murray (Cormorant Books)Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson (Penguin Random House Canada)…for an on-ALU option, try Bearskin Diary by Carol DanielsPure Colour by Sheila Heti (Penguin Random House Canada) *WINNERfor an on-ALU option, try Malagash by Joey Comeau (ECW Press) The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat (Penguin Random House Canada)…for an on-ALU option, try Melt by Heidi Wicks (Breakwater Books)Psst: the GG doesn’t stop at fiction. See the full list of All Lit Up GG finalists in poetry, non-fiction, drama, and translation here.What award nominee (or ALU option) will you add to your TBR first? Let us know on socials @alllitupcanada.