This year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize ceremony continues to lead the way when it comes to raising interest in Canadian literature. The televised and streamed CBC broadcast of the Nov. 17 let to the hashtag #GillerPrize trending on Twitter across the country, and there was plenty of interest in the U.S. as well.
Congratulations to Sean Michaels, who took the Giller Prize and $100,000 for his debut novel, Us Conductors.
It was a bit of surprise win. The Globe and Mail surveyed 30 “experts” in the weeks leading up to the Giller announcement – 19 of them expected Miriam Toews to win, and not one of them picked Michaels.
Until his novel came out, Michaels was best known as a music journalist with a popular blog, Said the Gramophone. His novel did receive national attention though, with reviews in the Globe and Mail, National Post and the Toronto Star.
The book takes as its unlikely subject the Russian inventor Lev Teremin (or Leon Theremin), who invented the theremin, the first electronic musical instrument to be mass produced. Teremin was later imprisoned in a Soviet labour camp.
We do have a waiting list for our copies of Us Conductors, so we’ve put together a list of Next Reads that might interest you. The books on this list are either about Russia and its gulag system, or about the power of music.
We’ve also created a list of previous Giller Prize winners, from 2000 to 2013. Click the cover at left, of 2013 winner Hellgoing, to see the list.
We leave you with this: a video of Leon Theremin playing the instrument he invented.