TORONTO -- Lisa Moore and Lynn Coady have once again made the short list for the prestigious $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Moore of St. John's, N.L., has been recognized for her novel Caught after having previously earned a nod for her 2002 compendium Open, while Edmonton's Coady has been nominated for her short story collection Hellgoing two years after she was a contender for The Antagonist.
Both novels are also finalists for this year's $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Rounding out the list of Giller finalists are Toronto's Dennis Bock, up for his novel Going Home Again, St. Catharines, Ont.-raised Craig Davidson for his novel Cataract City and England-based Dan Vyleta for his novel The Crooked Maid.
A jury of former Giller winner Esi Edugyan, CanLit legend Margaret Atwood and American author Jonathan Lethem culled the short list from a 13-entry long list, which had been narrowed from a broader field of 147 books submitted by 61 publishers.
"There were many good books," said Atwood. "I'm not saying that there's an upwards swing and it's going to get better and better forever and ever. This happened to be a year in which there were a lot of good books."
With a wealth of published writers and lucrative book prizes in Canada these days, literature in this country is being taken more seriously and "it ups the bar," she added.
"So if it were a race, you would say, 'OK, you have to run harder.' So there are a lot of people running harder. They've upped their game."
This is the 20th year of the prize, created by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in memory of his wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.
The winner will be unveiled at a Nov. 5 Toronto gala broadcast live on CBC-TV.
-- The Canadian Press