Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dodds Does it Again!

I've spent all day getting ready for our trip to Scotland, so I'm late with this, but as you probably already know is that the Griffin Prize shortlist was announced today. I don't know if the world is changing or I'm just getting soft, but this is one of the best Canadian shortlists I've seen. Which doesn't necessarily mean that it has THE BEST books of the last year, not necessarily the same three books I'd've picked, but that it contains three strong books and no head-scratchingly weird choices (unlike the most recent GG award, about which readers of this blog have already heard far too much, sans doute). Kudos to Michael Redhill, this year's Canadian judge.

It should be noted that Redhill has been published by both Coach House and Anansi and was on the Coach House editorial board for several years in the 90s. So I wouldn't go so far as to say this was an unbiased judgment on his part, given that the list is comprised of two Anansi books and one Coach House publication. Given that the prize is funded by Anansi's owner, it would have looked a lot better if Redhill had managed to shortlist but one of their books. But as conflicts go, it's fairly tenuous. Not to say that there aren't conflicts, but none that I know of.

Anyway, enough of such speculations. I'm very glad for all three shortlistees, especially my pal Jeramy Dodds, who is having a damn good April to-date and is about to hit the road on a cross-country train tour. (Wonder where he got that idea?) This might just be the closest that yours truly ever gets to Griffin gold, as my name appears in Crabwise to the Hounds. Also, it should be noted that Kevin Connolly, also shortlisted, edited Jeramy's book. Gotta be a good day for him.

We're off to Edinburgh tomorrow evening, which seems scarcely possible. The flight with a 9 month old should be... interesting. How he manages jet lag even more so. I'll be popping in from time to time, but mostly enjoying my holiday before getting back to the grindstone in Halifax, working on the train and getting my house and grounds up to snuff. Ciao for now.

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