Charlotte Gray is the winner of the 40th annual Toronto Book Awards for her non-fiction work, The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country. Gray received the $10,000 prize at a ceremony held at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon this evening.
The award recognizes exceptional literary works that are in some way evocative of the city. This year’s judging committee, comprising former Toronto Arts and Culture policy maker Michael Booth, poet and artist Tina Edan, author and cartoonist Evan Munday, archivist Karen Teeple, and local writer Diane Spivak, chose The Massey Murder from more than 70 nominated titles.
Gray is no stranger to literary accolades, having previously won the Pierre Berton Award for historical writing, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction, and the Ottawa Book Award, among others.
From the press release:
“‘I offer my warm congratulations to Charlotte Gray, who has drawn an unforgettable portrait of Toronto’s social life at the beginning of the 20th century,’ said Acting City Librarian Anne Bailey. ‘In telling the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey, Charlotte Gray captures the class conflict and societal upheaval that marked our city’s reinvention of itself at the onset of the Great War. As the author notes in her introduction: A single bullet fired on Walmer Road had an extraordinary significance.’”