Please join WCA in celebrating the appearance of Frances Itani’s novel TELL and Padma Viswanathan’s novel THE EVER AFTER OF ASHWIN RAO on the 2014 shortlist for the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize!
Jury Citation for Frances Itani / TELL:
Every word feels simple, right, and natural in Frances Itani’s Tell. You’re slowly immersed in the mystery: Who gave up a baby for adoption, and why? Itani peels back time to show us Kenan, a damaged and disfigured WWI soldier readjusting to life in Ontario, and his marriage to Tress. Itani inhabits many voices with ease, pathos and humour. Her choice of details expertly builds our understanding of her characters’ times, foibles and moral choices, and she connects them in a hugely satisfying ending. Tell is a treasure: serious with humorous moments, potent and controlled, subtle yet deeply moving.
Jury Citation for Padma Viswanathan / THE EVER AFTER OF ASHWIN RAO:
Scotch-drinking, McGill-educated psychologist Ashwin Rao wrote about those bereaved by India’s state-sponsored anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984. In 2004, he returns to Canada researching another book on comparative grief, attending the trial over the 1985 bombing of Air India 182, a bombing that claimed 329 lives, including his sister and her children. Guided by Viswanathan’s ever-compassionate gaze, and her ability to render a polyglot world in English, Ashwin meets Canadians affected by the tragedy, some as complex as himself. This often droll, fiercely-intelligent novel with its cat’s-cradle of a plot challenges the twin deadly lures of religious fundamentalism and racism, revealing the learning and unlearning at the core of the immigrant experience.