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September 8, 2005
And the winner is...
David Bezmozgis received the 2005 Toronto Book Award from Mayor David Miller
today for his story collection "Natasha and Other Stories" (HarperCollins

The volunteer members of the Toronto Book Awards Committee selected five
finalists from more than 70 entries. "David Bezmozgis's first book is a
remarkable portrait of coming of age and immigrant life within a Russian Jewish
community in Toronto. Bezmozgis has created a series of beautifully crafted
short stories that, while touching and sympathetic, are both free from
sentimentality and incredibly enjoyable," the committee said in their judgment.

The other finalists were:
  • Constance Backhouse and Nancy L. Backhouse for their biography "The Heiress vs. The Establishment: Mrs. Campbell’s Campaign for Legal Justice" (UBC Press)
  • Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall for his memoir "Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-city Shantytown" (Random House Canada)
  • Don Coles for his novel "Doctor Bloom's Story" (Alfred A. Knopf Canada)
  • Russell Smith for his novel "Muriella Pent" (Doubleday Canada)

"Each of this year's books is a remarkable literary achievement," said Mayor
Miller. "In a city with so many great stories, we are very fortunate to have so
many great storytellers."

The Toronto Book Awards honours authors of books of literary or artistic merit
that evoke Toronto. The award offers $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist
receives $1,000 and the winner receives the remainder.

The Toronto Book Awards is part of the City's commitment to literacy. In
keeping with the United Nations' declaration, Toronto City Council proclaimed
1990 to 2010 as decades dedicated to the elimination of illiteracy in the City
of Toronto.

Available authors will read at the City of Toronto tent during The Word On The
Street festival on September 25 held at Queen's Park, between Bloor and
Wellesley Streets.

Media contacts:

Bev Kurmey
Protocol Officer
City of Toronto

Linda Peake
Corporate Communications

Michaela Cornell
Toronto Book Awards Publicist



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