The Giller Prize dinner

I am recovering from the amazing Giller Awards dinner last night. What a celebration. You meet everybody in the country you’d really love to talk to from Adrienne Clarkson to Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. I hung out with Cate Cochran who has a new book called Reconcilable Differences in which she looks at modern families and their new living arrangements. My husband Jack Batten and I are in there strictly as inspiration because we pioneered living together but apart (he lives up, I live down). Cate found young families who are now doing the same sort of thing. I never thought you could do this with kids. It’s a terrific book and really well written. I certainly found it gripping.

After the cocktail party, I usually just sit nailed to my chair and hope someone will come over and talk. Last night, Cate grabbed me we I spent time between courses looking for Elizabeth Hay one of the short-listed authors. We used our quest as an exuse to wander and talk to dozens of people. It was fun to schmooze. We never did find Elizabeth to tell her we were rooting for her (Table 12 en masse was), but we hugged and kissed a lot of other people. This was all before the TV cameras started rolling and you have to behave yourself, proving once again to the rest of Canada that Toronto is utterly tight-assed.

The TV segment was mercifully short and this year there were no zoom cameras looming over the tables scaring us out of our desserts. Jack Rabinovitch sure knows how to treat his friends well. He’s the consummate host, (terrific food and wine), gracious and never pompous about what he’s created with this prize. And incredibly loyal. He invites the same core group of friends who aren’t necessarily the literati and the glitterati (which would be us) as he did 14 years ago when nobody had ever heard of the Giller Prize.

It was a fantastic evening and the fact that Elizabeth won was even better. She looked gorgeous, gave a short and graceful thank you (great shot of her in today’s Globe and Mail). Of course she was swarmed after, so we never did get to give her a hug and say how happy we were for her.

Now it’s Container Resolution Day. Got to get these things away and get ready for the next season or I’m going to have a shattered mess on my hands.