Nov 19, 2019

By Jane Brown

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Ian Williams has won the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his debut novel.

Reproduction traces the ties that bind a cross-cultural-chosen family in Williams’ hometown of Brampton.

Jury members praised Williams for his “masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender and geography.”

In his acceptance speech at the glitzy event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Williams singled out Margaret Atwood on her 80th birthday.

He explained later he spent his summers reading Atwood’s poetry, and the shout-out to the Canadian literary icon was just a small gesture to express his gratitude.

“How do you tell a writer that I feel like I know you and you’ve been my literary mother and you’ve been here for me this whole time, for decades?” Williams mused.

Williams is also a Griffin Poetry Prize trustee and creative writing professor at the University of British Columbia.

Margaret Atwood was at the Giller Prize event last night and said she’s looking forward to catching up on the latest Canadian reads as her global book tour for The Testaments winds down.

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