Omar El Akkad Wins Canada’s 2021 Giller Prize

Omar El Akkad Wins the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize

November 8, 2021 (Toronto, Ontario) – Omar El Akkad has been named the winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel, What Strange Paradise, published by McClelland & Stewart, taking home $100,000 courtesy of Scotiabank.

The announcement was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by poet, artist and performer Rupi Kaur and Canadian actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, attended by about 200 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. The gala was broadcast live commercial-free presented by Scotia Wealth Management on CBC, CBC Radio One and streamed live on CBC Gem and CBCBooks.ca.

This year, the Prize celebrates its 28th anniversary.

The remaining finalists, listed below, will each receive $10,000:

  • Angélique Lalonde for her story collection Glorious Frazzled Beings, published by House of Anansi
  • Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia for her novel The Son of The House, published by Dundurn Press
  • Jordan Tannahill for his novel The Listeners, published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Miriam Toews for her novel Fight Night, published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

The longlist, shortlist, and winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize were selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Canadian authors Zalika Reid-Benta (Jury Chair), Megan Gail Coles and Joshua Whitehead, Malaysian novelist Tash Aw and American author Joshua Ferris. The jury narrowed down the 132 submitted works to 12 to create the longlist and on October 5, announced the shortlisted authors before picking tonight’s winner. Read the full story at the Giller Prize site.

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