U of G Prof Wins Toronto Book Award

September 07, 2006 - News Release

University of Guelph English professor Dionne Brand has won the Toronto Book Award for her novel What We All Long For. The $11,000 award was announced in Toronto last night.

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.

Brand’s book, which follows a circle of young people of many different backgrounds as they try to make a life in the city, beat out four other finalists for the prestigious prize.

"I'm really pleased to have received the Toronto Book Award," said Brand. "I've lived in the city most of my life and the book is a kind of homage to its emergeance as a cool cosmopolitan space, not an unconflicted space, but a space dynamic with possibility."

Trinidad-born Brand is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including the acclaimed Land to Light On, which won a Governor General’s Award, and thirsty, which won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry. The Toronto resident also wrote In Another Place, Not Here, a 1998 New York Times notable book, and At the Full and Change of the Moon.

The judges hailed What We All Long For for its “potent language that is both lyrical and precise.”

“Toronto is a vivid central character in this multi-layered novel that gives voice to the experiences of four young second-generation Torontonians as they struggle to make their way in the city,” the judges said. “What We All Long For sparkles with the many rhythms and textures of the city — from the grit of its downtown alleyways to the driveways of Richmond Hill.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519- 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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