Entertainment & Arts

The Sentimentalists wins Giller Prize

Johanna Skibsrud
Skibsrud was the youngest of this year's nominees

A book about a daughter's quest to learn the truth about her dying father's life has won the Giller Prize - Canada's biggest literary award.

Johanna Skibsrud tearfully accepted the CAN$50,000 (£31,000) prize for her debut novel, The Sentimentalists, at a ceremony in Toronto on Tuesday.

She thanked her late father, a Vietnam veteran, whose tales inspired the book.

The jury hailed the author's writing as "trip-wire taut as the exploration of guilt, family and duty unfolds".

During her acceptance speech, Skibsrud said: "To my late father, Olaf, for sharing his stories with me... or all of his love and support as well, and for being here tonight, because I know he is.

"I just can't even imagine how proud he would have been," she added.

Some bookstores in Canada have been unable to get the book in stock because it was hand-printed by a small Canadian publishing company that can only print about 1,000 copies a week and has refused to outsource to keep up with demand.

Skibsrud, 30, is the first debut novelist since 1999 to win the prize. Past winners include Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and Alice Munro.

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