2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Winner
Coach House Books
"Fifteen Dogs is an original and vital work written by a master craftsman: philosophy given a perfect form.
In André Alexis’ powerful apologue, questions of knowledge and happiness, fidelity and fate are grounded in the real-world adventures of a group of dogs. Here is a beautifully written allegory for our times: one in which man’s best friend shows us the benefits of higher consciousness – the favoured bone of fact buried where we might all find it."
- 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury Aislinn Hunter, Shani Mootoo, and Richard Wagamese
About the Book
It begins with a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo: “that animals would be even more unhappy than humans are if they were given human intelligence.” This leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto veterinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, André Alexis's contemporary take on the moral fable offers a compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness.
About the Author
André Alexis is a three-time finalist for this prize, having previously been nominated for his novels Childhood and Pastoral. His other books include the novel Asylum and Beauty & Sadness, a collection of criticism. Fifteen Dogs was recently longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. Born in Trinidad and raised in Ottawa, Alexis lives in Toronto.