The longlist for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize has been announced, and Douglas & McIntyre would like to congratulate Rachel Rose, whose book, The Octopus Has Three Hearts, has been recognized.
The Octopus Has Three Hearts is a collection of short stories about damaged people who have committed, witnessed or survived terrible acts and who must make their way in an unforgiving world. From a goat farmer to a suburban adulterer, a violent child to a polyamorous marine biologist, Rose’s diverse characters have little in common except a life-sustaining connection to the animal world. The octopus, dogs, pigs, chameleons, bats, parrots, rats and sugar gliders in their lives extend a measure of compassion and solace that their human communities lack.
This is the first book of fiction from Rachel Rose, who is also an award-winning poet. She writes:
“The strangeness of my childhood informed these stories, with its ricochet between Gulf Island Gothic (cults, communes, goats, violence) and Small Town America (addiction, unexpected compassion, religious fundamentalism and more violence).”
Rachel Rose is the author of four collections of poetry and a memoir, The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops (St. Martin’s Press), which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis award for best non-fiction crime book in 2018. She is also the recipient of the Bronwen Wallace Award for fiction from The Writers’ Trust, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, a 2014 and 2016 Pushcart Prize and a 2016 nomination for a Governor General’s Literary Award. She is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Vancouver, poetry editor at Cascadia Magazine and a contributor for Maisonneuve Magazine. Rose’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications including The Globe & Mail, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Malahat Review, Rattle, New Quarterly, Best Canadian Poetry, Monte Cristo Magazine and the Vancouver Sun. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
The Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada’s largest literary award. It recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction—long form or short stories—and comes with a purse of $140,000. The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of literary journalist Doris Giller. In 2005, Scotiabank became a co-sponsor of the prize. The shortlist will be announced on October 5, 2021, with the winner being announced on a CBC special broadcast on November 8, 2021. All books on the 2021 Scotiabank Giller longlist can be found at https://scotiabankgillerprize.ca/.