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Andre Alexis wins $100,000 Giller Prize

TORONTO – Andre Alexis of Toronto has won the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel “Fifteen Dogs.”

The book — about 15 dogs gifted by gods with human traits — was praised by jury members as an “insightful and philosophical meditation on the nature of consciousness.”

In his acceptance speech, Alexis thanked his family members and said it was “most unexpected.”

The Trinidad native, who was raised in Ottawa, beat out titles by Montreal’s Heather O’Neill, Vancouver-based Anakana Schofield, Montreal’s Samuel Archibald, and London-based Rachel Cusk.

READ MORE: Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists revealed

The Giller Prize was established in 1994 by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.

This year’s jury, which was expanded to five members from the usual three, read 168 books submitted by 63 publishers.

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The jury included Irish author John Boyne, Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and British author Helen Oyeyemi.

Last year’s winner was Montreal’s Sean Michaels for “Us Conductors.”