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Dionne Brand novel Theory wins the Toronto Book Award

Dionne Brand (Jason Chow)

Dionne Brand has won the $10,000 Toronto Book Award for her novel Theory (Knopf Canada). The novel follows an unreliable narrator attempting to write a thesis whose thinking is challenged by a series of three very different lovers. Brand previously won the Toronto Book Award for her 2006 novel What We All Long For (Vintage Canada).

The jury – Sarah Hagi, Canisia Lubrin, Vicky Mochama, Damian Tarnopolsky and Daniel Viola – said in a statement, “With this wry, beautiful, profoundly philosophical novel, Brand accomplishes something reserved for the most masterful writers of our time.”

Brand was shortlisted alongside Mike Barnes’s Be With: Letters to a Caregiver (Biblioasis), Ian Williams’s Reproduction (Random House Canada), Cary Fagan’s The Student (Freehand Books), and Didier Leclair’s This Country of Mine (Deux Voiliers Publishing). Williams is also a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize while Fagan is shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English Fiction.

Earlier this year, Brand won the Trillium Prize for her poetry collection The Blue Clerk (McClelland & Stewart). The Blue Clerk and Theory were published simultaneously last September.