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October 11, 2016
Cordelia Strube selected as winner of the 2016 Toronto Book Awards
Cordelia Strube is the winner of the 2016 Toronto Book Awards for her nationally acclaimed novel On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light (ECW Press). The announcement was made this evening at an awards ceremony at the Toronto Reference Library.

"I'm so pleased to offer my congratulations to Cordelia Strube, and to all of the finalists, for their commitment to celebrating our city,” said Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth). “These awards highlight that Toronto's literary community is composed of writers of exceptional talent and spirit."

Her novel was chosen from a list of finalists that included Howard Akler's memoir Men of Action (Coach House Books), Ann Y.K. Choi's novel Kay's Lucky Coin Variety (Simon & Schuster Canada), Marnie Woodrow's novel Heyday (Tightrope Books) and editors John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor for The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House Books).

“Congratulations to Cordelia Strube and her award-winning novel On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light,” said City Librarian Vickery Bowles. “The title, which comes from the Keats poem Homer, shows us the vital role that books play in our lives today – by understanding Strube’s protagonist, Harriet, and her difficult circumstances, we all come to see that bit of light on the edge of a difficult shore. What a beautiful novel!”

Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Alex & Zee, Teaching Pigs to Sing and Lemon. Winner of the CBC literary competition and a Toronto Arts Foundation Award, she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Prix Italia, and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

More information on Strube is available at and a video of her discussing her winning work can be viewed at

This year marks the 42nd edition of the Toronto Book Awards. Produced by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library, the awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist receives $1,000 and the winning author receives an additional $10,000 in prize money. This year's Toronto Book Awards Committee is made up of volunteer members Irfan Ali, Ann Jansen, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Conan Tobias.

More information about the awards, reading events and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books is available at The public can also follow and interact with the awards on Twitter @TOBookAwards and #tobookawards.

The Toronto Star is the Toronto Book Awards' media sponsor.

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 19 million people visit library branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow more than 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit the website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. For all the latest buzz about the library, follow @torontolibrary on Twitter.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Strategic Communications

Gregory McCormick
Toronto Public Library



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