TORONTO—Andre Alexis’s Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel “Fifteen Dogs” is the champion of this year’s “Canada Reads” debate series.
The CBC’s battle of the books sees high-profile panellists defending homegrown titles in a string of debates until a winner is declared.
Alexis’s book, about 15 dogs gifted by gods with the skills of human consc
iousness and language, was named the winner on Thursday.
Spoken word artist and emcee Humble the Poet had advocated for the book in the debates.
The runner-up was “Company Town” by Madeline Ashby, which was defended by opera singer Measha Brueggergosman.
Other books in competition included “The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet,” by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, which was represented by singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk.
Ottawa city councillor and author Jody Mitic supported “Nostalgia” by M.G. Vassanji, while comedian Candy Palmater backed “The Break” by Katherena Vermette.
This year’s show explored stories about Canada’s past, present and future as the country marks its 150th anniversary.
“Fifteen Dogs” publisher Coach House Books says in celebration of the win, it will make a donation to Frontier College’s Indigenous Summer Literacy Camps for First Nation, Metis and Inuit children and youth across Canada.
Earlier this month Alexis won a Yale University Windham-Campbell Prize, which comes with a cheque for US$165,000.
In 2015, the Trinidad-born, Ottawa-raised writer also won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for “Fifteen Dogs.”