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September 6, 2011
Finalists announced for 2011 Toronto Book Awards
The City of Toronto together with the Toronto Public Library today named the five finalists for the 2011 Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.

The finalists are:
• James FitzGerald for his memoir, What Disturbs Our Blood, published by Random House Canada
• James King for his novel, Étienne's Alphabet, published by Cormorant Books Inc.
• Rabindranath Maharaj for his novel, The Amazing Absorbing Boy, published by Knopf Canada
• Nicholas Ruddock for his novel, The Parabolist, published by Doubleday Canada
• Alissa York, for her novel, Fauna, published by Random House Canada

This year marks the 37th anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winning author receives the remaining prize money.

"Congratulations to the five finalists of this year's Toronto Book Awards," said Mayor Rob Ford. "All of the authors have demonstrated their unique talent by telling stories about our great city."

“Toronto Public Library is very pleased to join with the City of Toronto in promoting this unique literary award,” said City Librarian Jane Pyper. “We hope these books will engage everyone in discovering more about the city we all call home. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors.”

The City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library are inviting Torontonians to “get a new read on Toronto” with many opportunities for the community to embrace and explore this year’s shortlisted books.

The shortlisted authors will read from their books at The Word On The Street book and magazine fair. The event takes place on Sunday, September 25 in the City of Toronto Tent at Queen’s Park. This year five authors from Diaspora Dialogues will join the program. Diaspora Dialogues supports writing that reflects Toronto's diverse artistic and literary culture.

The shortlisted authors will also do a reading at the Toronto Public Library’s Yorkville Branch at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4. The winner of the 2011 Toronto Book Awards will be announced on Thursday, October 13 at the Toronto Reference Library. Members of the public are encouraged to come out and celebrate at the evening awards gala, hosted by CBC Radio’s Matt Galloway.

The 2011 Toronto Book Awards Committee is made up of volunteer members Michael Booth, Tina Edan, Angela Rebeiro, Kristine Thornley and Karen Tisch. For more information about the awards, reading events and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books, visit

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 18 million people visit branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow more than 32 million items. As cornerstones of their neighbourhoods, our libraries connect people to each other and to their community, inspiring the spirit of exploration, the joy of reading and the pursuit of knowledge for people of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more, please visit or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Bev Kurmey
Protocol Officer City Clerk’s Office

Tina Srebotnjak
Manager, Program Development Toronto Public Library,



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