2009 Scotia Bank Giller Prize
The winner for 2009 - The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The Bishop’s Man centres on a sensitive topic - the sexual abuses perpetrated by Catholic priests on the innocent children in their care. Father Duncan, the first person narrator, has been his bishop's dutiful enforcer, employed to check the excesses of priests and, crucially, to suppress the evidence. But as events veer out of control, he is forced into painful self-knowledge as family, community and friendship are torn apart under the strain of suspicion, obsession and guilt. A brave novel, conceived and written with impressive delicacy and understanding.
I looked through the short list of nominees. The only book I thought might be interesting to read is the Golden Means by Annabelle Lyons.
The Golden Mean is, ostensibly, the story of the philosopher, Aristotle, and his pupil, Alexander. Aristotle has yet to become the director of the Lyceum and his pupil has yet to become Alexander the Great, the conqueror of the known world. In succinct and detailed prose, Annabel Lyon not only illuminates an historical period but explores issues that are achingly contemporary: the purpose(s) of education, the destinies (and responsibilities) of the gifted, the influence of parents, the jealousies of scholars, the complications of tribalism, the tension between belief and science, and the relative merits of the life of the body versus that of the mind. The characters, some historical and some fictional, are, in their multitude, kind and noble and petty and vicious; they are recognizable to us all. This is a wise and thoughtful book.