Kudos to Austin Clarke!

October 16, 2009

Last night was my final public appearance as a member of the Toronto Book Award jury. Set in the sprawling new Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, it was a great night to celebrate the great community of writers working in our city.

If you haven’t checked the Toronto Star today, you might not know that Austin Clarke was the winner this year for More, his Faulkner-esque tale of a Regent Park resident reflecting on her life in the city while searching for her lost son. His acceptance speech was full of good humour and bonhomie. He is a deserving winner and will be a great ambassador for both the city and the Toronto One Book program.

For two other angles on the evening, check out the City of Toronto and CBC web sites.

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Toronto Book Awards Finale This Week!

October 13, 2009

This week, I’ll be attending the official announcement of the winner of the City of Toronto Book Award. Click here for the full run-down on the award, the authours and the jury’s assessment of the work.

It’s been a great three years for me on the jury. Unlike most book award juries, our main qualification for membership is our residence in the city and our mutual love of reading. Theoretically, none of us has any scores to settle with literary or publishing rivals. We just look for the “most evocative” account of the many stories unfolding in the city every day.