Canada’s Giller Prize event interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Jonny Diamond

November 14, 2023, 9:23am

Last night’s Giller Prize ceremony in Toronto was interrupted twice by pro-Palestinian protesters. The event—which honors the best of Canadian literature—was attended by such luminaries as Margaret Atwood and Vincent Lam, who looked on early in the evening as several protesters took to the stage holding signs that read “Scotiabank funds genocide,” a reference to the Giller Prize sponsor’s investment in Elbit Systems, an Israeli weapons company.

Later on, during the announcement of this year’s Giller Prize winner—Sarah Bernstein, for the novel Study for Obedience—another protester made it on stage to denounce Israel’s assault on Gaza. According to the Canadian Press, though:

Bernstein’s win was announced again and in an acceptance speech delivered via video call, Bernstein did not acknowledge protests that also included [the] interruption earlier in the night. Instead, she stressed the importance of storytelling:

“I think … how important it is, now more than ever, to support writers in material ways who tell stories of their own people in their own ways, especially when their stories challenge dominant historical narratives.”

With that thought in mind, I highly recommend this compendium of Palestinian literature.

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