Madeleine Thien won the C$100,000 (US$74,744) Scotiabank Giller Prize, presented annually "to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English," for Do Not Say We Have Nothing. The other five finalists received C$10,000 each.
The judges wrote: "Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien entranced the jurors with its detailed, layered, complex drama of classical musicians and their loved ones trying to survive two monstrous insults to their humanity: Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in mid-twentieth century China and the Tiananmen Square massacre of protestors in Beijing in 1989. Do Not Say We Have Nothing addresses some of the timeless questions of literature: who do we love, and how do the love of art, of others and ourselves sustain us individually and collectively in the face of genocide? A beautiful homage to music and to the human spirit, Do Not Say We Have Nothing is both sad and uplifting in its dramatization of human loss and resilience in China and in Canada."