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Souvankham Thammavongsa wins Canada's top literary Scotiabank Giller Prize

TORONTO (Reuters) - Souvankham Thammavongsa has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s top award for literature, for her short story collection “How To Pronounce Knife,” the prize’s sponsor announced on Monday.

Published by Penguin Random House Canada unit McClelland & Stewart, the book is a “stunning collection of stories that portray the immigrant experience in achingly beautiful prose,” the jury wrote.

“Thammavongsa’s fiction cuts to the core of the immigrant reality like a knife – however you pronounce it,” the jury said.

The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch, a Montreal-born real estate developer, in memory of his late wife Doris Giller, a literary journalist. Notable Canadian writers including Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler supported its creation, and Scotiabank began backing the award in 2005.

The five shortlisted finalists were chosen from a list of 118 submissions from publishers across Canada.

The award carries a cash prize of C$100,000 ($76,917) while each of the other five shortlisted finalists takes home C$10,000.

Notable previous winners of the award include authors Munro, Richler, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje.

This year’s shortlist included, Gil Adamson, for her novel “Ridgerunner”, published by House of Anansi Press, David Bergen, for his short story collection “Here The Dark”, published by Biblioasis, Shani Mootoo, for her novel “Polar Vortex”, published by Book*hug Press, Emily St. John Mandel, for her novel “The Glass Hotel”, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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