MacLeod misses out on Giller

Colleagues, students gather to cheer on SMU professor

People at the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia mingle as they watch the Giller prize show. (Photo: Alex Boates)

Alexander MacLeod, Saint Mary's University English professor, came close to winning the prestigious Giller Prize last night, but lost out to fellow Nova Scotian Johanna Skibsrub.

Some of MacLeod's colleagues, friends and students gathered to eat, drink and watch the award ceremony together. When the show was on, guests huddled around the television.

"I've never seen so many academics so quiet for so long," said Peter Twohig, a SMU professor and colleague of MacLeod's. "And then, of course, there were boisterous outbursts during the commercial breaks."

As the winner was announced, people in the room had conflicting opinions.

"People were of two minds," Twohig said. "We were delighted that Gaspereau Press was the publisher of the winning book, but of course that was tempered by some disappointment for Alexander.

"Although we all believe, like Alexander said last night, he has already won because people are aware of his book," he added.

The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia also held a party last night. Nate Crawford, the executive director, was pleased with the turnout.

"We of course, because of the weather, weren't expecting a lot of people," Crawford said. He added that the turnout was important "because I think it was all about celebrating the community of writers."

The Writers' Federation conducted their own poll last night to determine a winner. The top two vote earners were Skibsrub with nine votes, and MacLeod with eight.

Twohig says he expects MacLeod to be back in a few days. When he sees him, Twohig knows what he wants to tell him.

"It was a wild ride."

 

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