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September 17, 2003
Joe Fiorito wins the 2003 Toronto Book Awards
This evening, at Toronto City Hall, Joe Fiorito was named the 30th anniversary
winner of the City of Toronto's Toronto Book Awards for his novel The Song
Beneath the Ice, published by McClelland & Stewart Ltd. Dennis Lee, the City's
Poet Laureate, and Camilla Gibb, the 2000 Toronto Book Awards winner, presented
Mr. Fiorito with $11,000 in prize money.

Each short-listed author received $1,000 in prize money. The other 2003
finalists are:

· Dionne Brand, thirsty, McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
· Eric McCormack, The Dutch Wife, Penguin Canada
· Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary, Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith
Merril, Between the Lines
· Makeda Silvera, The Heart Does Not Bend, Random House Canada

Joe Fiorito is a Toronto-based author and columnist with the Toronto Star whose
family memoir, The Closer We Are to Dying, published in 1999, was a national
best seller. The Song Beneath the Ice is the story of a concert pianist,
Dominic Amoruso, who disappears during a recital. Over a year later, Dom's
lifelong friend, Joe Serafino, a journalist, receives a package in the mail
containing a number of Dom's notebooks and tapes documenting the months before
and after his disappearance. Serafino is taken through the Toronto's art
community to northern Canada as he pieces together the mystery behind his
missing friend.

"The Song Beneath the Ice is as much a fascinating and compelling mystery, as
it is a beautiful and touching de-construct of the creative process itself,"
says John R. Farrell, chair of the 2003 City of Toronto Book Award Jury. "It is
a powerful and haunting read, rich in its depictions of Toronto and its scenes,
and a book filled with equal doses of art and heart."

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the awards. The Toronto Book Awards was
established in 1973 and first awarded in 1974 by Toronto City Council to honour
authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.
The award offers $15,000 in prize money. Past winners have included Camilla
Gibb, Timothy Findley, Carole Corbeil, Katherine Govier, Margaret Atwood, Anne
Michaels, Michael Ondaatje and last year's winner Sarah Dearing.

Toronto Public Library has 70 copies of the 2003 Toronto Book Award winner, The
Song Beneath the Ice by Joe Fiorito. Copies of all the shortlisted books are
also available. To place a hold on any of these titles, visit one of their 98
branches or log on to the Toronto Public Library Web site at For information on author readings
at The Word on the Street festival and Toronto Public Library, visit

Media Contact:
Bev Kurmey, Protocol Officer, 416- 392-8191



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