For 20 years the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize has recognized the best Canadian novel or short story collection. The 2016 jurors are Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla:
Lauren B. Davis is a critically acclaimed author and creative writing teacher. Her work includes the novels Against a Darkening Sky, The Empty Room, Our Daily Bread, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; and The Radiant City, which was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. She is also the author of two collections of short stories. Born in Montreal, she now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Trevor Ferguson is the author of seven novels, including The River Burns, under his own name and a further five, including The Storm Murders and Seven Days Dead, under his pseudonym, John Farrow. His novel The Timekeeper won the Quebec Writers' Federation's Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was adapted into a feature film. He lives in Hudson, Quebec.
Pasha Malla’s first book, the short story collection The Withdrawal Method, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Trillium Book Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His debut novel, People Park, was shortlisted for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. Malla lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
Coach House Books
"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.
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 prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc. since its inception in 1997. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the prize. The winner will be announced November 2 at the Writers’ Trust Awards in Toronto.
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.