After last year's flirtation with obscurity - which climaxed with the awarding of its big prize to a first-time novel published by a boutique press - the Giller Prize has brought back the big names.
Biggest star of them all is Michael Ondaatje, who gets a nod for A Cat's Table, one of his more accessible novels, and the clearest indication that the Giller doesn't want Canada's literary icons to fall by the wayside when it comes to the country's richest prize.
This year's shortlist also includes Lynn Coady, a perennial bestseller, who gets a nod for The Antagonist (for a review, see here), her excellent story about a brute of a guy who starts cyberstalking a college friend who's written a novel using him as a character.
Also on the list, Edi Edugyan (Half-Blood Blues) and Patrick deWitt (The Brothers Sisters), who have become major players thanks to their presence on both this year's Booker shortlist and Writers Trust shortlists.
Sure, the jury is still giving some love to the short story by putting Zsuzsi Gartner (Better Living Through Plastic Explosives) on the list and shortlister David Bezmozgis (The Free World) isn't exactly a household name - even if has written and directed a film feature (Victoria Day).
But, whether conscious or not - doubtless, the jury members would claim they had no agenda - the Giller jury has come out with a list that's sure to bring back some lustre to a prize that threatened to look like the Governor General's Awards. You know, accent on good books that are good for you, instead of what's exciting in the literary world.
The heavy-hitting comes just in time for the Giller, which lost its major media sponsor CTV, presumably because, even with its glitzy gala - still one of the year's hottest tickets - the prize couldn't bring in much of a viewership. Enter the CBC, who's stepped in as the sponsor and will be televising the Giller formalities.
The mother corp has to be happy with this shortlist.