Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500 
Sponsored by

2015 Winner

Alexis_Fifteen Dogs

André Alexis
Fifteen Dogs
Coach House Books


Jury Citation

In Fifteen Dogs – 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. Fifteen Dogs is an original and vital work written by a master craftsman: philosophy given a perfect form.

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.

2015 Finalists

Elizabeth Hay
His Whole Life
Published by McClelland & Stewart

Pamela Mordecai
(Kitchener, ON)
Red Jacket
TAP Books

Russell Smith
Published by Biblioasis

John Vaillant (Vancouver)
The Jaguar's Children

Published by Knopf Canada

The finalists were chosen by a jury composed of writers Aislinn Hunter, Shani Mootoo, and Richard Wagamese. They read 127 books from 50 publishers.

About the Writers’ Trust

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including ten national literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.

About the Prize

The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year's best novel or short-story collection as selected by a three-member, independent judging panel. The 2015 winner was announced on November 3 at the Writers’ Trust Awards.

About the Sponsor

Rogers Communications is a leading provider of Wireless, Cable TV, High Speed Internet and Home Phone services to consumer residences and businesses in Canada. They have generously sponsored this award since it was created in 1997.



Woodcock Fund




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