Finalists announced for 2013 Toronto Book Awards

The City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library today named the five finalists for the 2013 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:

  • Kamal Al-Solaylee for his memoir, Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, published by Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.
  • Patrick Cummins (photos) and Shawn Micallef (text) for their annotated book of photography, Full Frontal T.O., published by Coach House Books
  • Kevin Irie for his collection of poetry, Viewing Tom Thomson, A Minority Report, published by Frontenac House Poetry
  • Aga Maksimowska for her novel, Giant, published by Pedlar Press
  • Katrina Onstad for her novel, Everybody has Everything, published by McClelland & Stewart
  • "Congratulations to all of this year's Toronto Book Awards finalists," said Mayor Rob Ford. "These five exceptional books truly reflect the diversity and the unique cultural talents of our great city."

    Once again Im struck by the range of perspectives on the city, said City Librarian Jane Pyper. A novel and a memoir each tackle questions of identity; a volume of poetry connects an iconic Canadian artist to urban life; a book of photographs invites us to really look at the city around us; and a second novel paints an intimate portrait of a marriage. They all make for wonderful reading, and I congratulate these very fine writers.

    This year marks the 39th 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.

    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 years shortlisted books.

    The shortlisted authors will read from their books at The Word On The Street book and magazine fair. The event will take place on Sunday, September 22 in the City of Toronto tent at Queens Park North. Four 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 participate in a reading at the Toronto Public Librarys Yorkville Branch at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 3. The winner of the 2013 Toronto Book Awards will be announced on Wednesday, October 9 at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. Members of the public are encouraged to come out and celebrate at the evening awards celebration, hosted by CBC Radios Matt Galloway.

    The 2013 Toronto Book Awards Committee is made up of volunteer members Michael Booth, Julia Chan, Tina Edan, Diane Spivak, and Karen Teeple. More information about the awards, reading events and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books is available at

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