Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

A capstone experience

Queen’s Department of English Language and Literature to host Scotiabank Giller Prizewinner.

For the ninth straight year, Queen’s Department of English Language and Literature will host the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for a lecture, reading and question-and-answer period at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“The tradition of having the Giller Prize winner visit Queen’s started when Alistair MacLean was Dean of Arts and Sciences and challenged us to create a capstone experience for the English graduating class,” says Shelley King, Head of the Department of English Language and Literature.

She credits English Professor Chris Bongie for suggesting that the department invite a prize-winning author to campus to interact with the students, who would also receive a copy of the book as a sort of “cohort experience.” The event is currently supported through a gift from Queen’s English alum Diane King and the Department of English Alumni Fund.

This year’s winner, André Alexis, received the prize for his novel, Fifteen Dogs. In the novel, 15 dogs in a veterinary clinic in Toronto are granted the gifts of reason and language by the Greek gods Hermes and Apollo. The novel follows the pack as they explore these fundamentally human abilities and the differing paths it places them on.

Mr. Alexis’ visit will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 19, starting at 2:30 pm, at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre. During the visit, Mr. Alexis will hold a public reading and discussion, as well as a book signing. All are welcome to attend.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife Doris Giller, a former literary editor at the Toronto Star. The Giller Prize, the largest awarded for fiction in Canada, is given to one Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English during the previous year.