The Scotiabank Giller Prize Committee has just announced that Margaret Atwood, along with Esi Edugyan and American author Jonathan Lethem, will make up the coveted prize jury for the 2013 award.

The Giller is one of the most coveted in Canada, and it will grant the winner of this year’s prize with 50,000 dollars in cash. Previous winner include jury members Atwood and Edugyan, along with celebrated writers like Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje. Not only has this award bolstered the sales of previously-recognized works, but many have also gone on to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize, arguably the British Commonwealth’s largest literary recognition.

The Giller Prize was founded in 1995 by philanthropists Jack Rabinovitch as a tribute to his late wife, and has in recent years received the sponsorship of Scotiabank, helping to raise the prize money from 25k to 50k. While the grand jury is often lead by notable figures, this year’s choices are particularly considerable.

Edugyan rose to immediate fame with her 2011 tour-de-force Half-Blood Blues, winning the Giller and getting shortlisted for both the Orange and Man Booker prizes. Lethem is also a highly-decorated author; his book Motherless Brooklyn won the National Book Critic’s Circle Award in 1999 and he will be releasing a prolific ninth novel this fall.

We will still have to wait until September for the longlist and November for the final decision. Until then, you can check out a list of recent works that they have deemed eligible for the upcoming prize.

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