The City of Toronto has awarded the 2011 Toronto Book Award to Rabindranath Maharaj. City councillor Gary Crawford presented the $11,000 award to Maharaj for his Trillium Book Award“winning novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy (Knopf Canada) at a gala at Toronto Reference Library Thursday night.
The Toronto Book Award Committee, made up of writer Michael Booth, writer and social activist Tina Edan, playwright Angela Rebeiro, editor Kristine Thornley, and Toronto Arts Council board president Karen Tisch, call Maharaj’s fifth novel “a complex, witty and hopeful portrait of an imaginative youth determined to forge his own path in multicultural Toronto.”
Also on the shortlist were James FitzGerald’s What Disturbs Our Blood (Random House Canada), James King’s Ã‰tienne’s Alphabet (Cormorant Books), Nicholas Ruddock’s The Parabolist (Doubleday Canada), and Alissa York’s Fauna (Random House Canada). Each shortlisted author receives $1,000.
Established in 1974, the Toronto Book Award recognizes “books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.” Past winners include Mark Sinnett’s The Carnivore (ECW Press), Austin Clarke’s More (Thomas Allen Publishers), Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (Knopf Canada), and David Bezmozgis’s Natasha and Other Stories (HarperCollins).