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Thea Lim

Sheridan Professor Shortlisted for Giller Prize with Debut Novel

October 01, 2018

Thea Lim, a professor in Sheridan’s Creative Writing and Publishing degree program has been named a finalist in the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, for her debut novel, An Ocean of Minutes. Lim is the first Sheridan professor to be shortlisted for this highly coveted and deeply prestigious Canadian literary award.

Lim’s novel, An Ocean of Minutes, has received widespread acclaim since its launch in June 2018. Appearing on the ‘Summer 2018 must read lists’ of Maclean’s, CBC Radio, and FlareAn Ocean of Minutes has also been positively reviewed by The Toronto Star and the L.A. Times.  The book was longlisted for the Giller Prize on September 17, chosen by a five-member jury panel that reviewed 104 submissions from publishers across Canada. Only five works are selected for the shortlist.

When asked about her reaction upon learning of the news, Lim had the following to say, “I’m totally stunned, flabbergasted and grateful.  In the words of Galaxy Quest, never give up, never surrender!”

 “Having one of our faculty members celebrated on the national stage provides a tremendous source of pride and inspiration for everyone at Sheridan,” says Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan.  “While news of this short-listed nomination was never a foregone conclusion, it certainly comes as no surprise to people at Sheridan who know Thea and who have read her work.”

“In her role as Professor of Creative Writing in the Creative Writing and Publishing program, Thea has been incredibly generous in sharing with our students, to their great benefit, her creativity and her commitment to literary craft,” adds Sean McNabney, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at Sheridan.  “We are overjoyed that the Giller committee has recognized her immense talent by shortlisting her outstanding debut novel.”

Lim joined Sheridan in September 2017 as faculty in the new Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing and Publishing program, a unique program that allows students to pursue their interests in writing, publishing and literary studies, while also pursuing courses in the arts and business that support their individual goals. 

Born in Toronto, Lim grew up mostly in Singapore. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto. She published a novella, The Same Woman, in 2007, and has seen her work appear in The Southampton Review, GRIST, The Guardian, Salon, and Utne Reader, among other publications. A spotlight on Lim, including some of her reflections on her celebrated novel can be found at: https://scotiabankgillerprize.ca/scotiabank-giller-prize-spotlight-thea-lim/

With this shortlisted nomination, Sheridan’s connection to the Giller Prize is further strengthened.  Professor Paul Vermeersch, who also teaches in the Creative Writing and Publishing degree at Sheridan edited and published Susan Perly’s Death Valley, which was longlisted for the Giller Prize in 2016, under his Buckrider Books imprint at Wolsak & Wynn.