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August 24, 2017
2017 Toronto Book Awards shortlist announced
The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library have named the five 2017 Toronto Book Awards shortlisted titles. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the awards honour books of literary merit that are evocative of Toronto.

The finalists for the 2017 award are:
• "I Hear She's a Real Bitch," a memoir by Jen Agg, published by Doubleday Canada
• "Scarborough," a novel by Catherine Hernandez, published by Arsenal Pulp Press
• "In the Black: My Life," a memoir by B. Denham Jolly, published by ECW Press
• "Life on the Ground Floor," a memoir by James Maskalyk, published by Doubleday Canada
• "Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer," a collection of essays edited by Jane Farrow, John Lorinc, et al., published by Coach House Books

"This year, the Toronto Book Awards captivate us with intensely personal stories that reveal how Toronto's diversity is embodied through its residents," said Mayor John Tory. "It is also notable that three of the authors were recognized as finalists with their debut book."

“Once again we are amazed at the quality of work being done by local writers and the variety of points of view that the finalists represent," said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian. "How lucky we are to live in such a vibrant city full of so much talent.”

The winner of the 2017 Toronto Book Awards will be announced on October 12 at the Toronto Reference Library. Members of the public are welcome to attend the awards ceremony hosted by CBC Radio's Gill Deacon at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and will be available via the Toronto Public Library website at starting September 21.

The shortlisted authors are scheduled to read from their books at The Word On the Street book and magazine festival at Harbourfront Centre from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 24. In addition, they will participate in a panel discussion at the S. Walter Stewart Toronto Public Library branch (170 Memorial Park Ave.) with host Dalton Higgins on October 3 at 7 p.m.

This is the 43rd year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 going to the winner. This year's Toronto Book Awards Committee is comprised of volunteer members Steven Andrews, Cherie Dimaline, Dwayne Morgan, Martha Sharpe and Dianah Smith.

More information about the awards and reading events are available at and on Twitter at @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. In 2017, Toronto is honouring Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. 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 on Twitter at and on Instagram at

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Strategic Communications

Gregory McCormick
Toronto Public Library



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