2019 Toronto Book Award winner Dionne Brand
Dionne Brand’s 2019 Toronto Book Award comes with a $10,000 grand prize

Author Dionne Brand has been awarded the Toronto Book Award for her novel Theory, published by Knopf Canada. This is the second win for Brand who claimed the prize in 2006 for her novel, What We All Long For.

Brand’s novel was chosen from a list of finalists that also included:

  • Be With: Letters to a Caregiver by Mike Barnes (Biblioasis)
  • Reproduction by Ian Williams (Random House Canada)
  • The Student by Cary Fagan (Freehand Books)
  • This Country of Mine by Didier Leclair (Deux Voiliers Publishing)

Commenting on the winning novel, the jury said, “In this novel of ideas, Dionne Brand dazzles with smart, jazz-like storytelling and the utterly engrossing voice of its narrator. Theory delivers a potent dose of meticulous attention to both humour and the seriousness of its subject, so that Toronto comes to each page anew. What many will recognize as love is turned into a dissertation, and by turns, the other way around. This protagonist is playful, cunning, honest, and self-aware and the book surprises from cover to cover. With this wry, beautiful, profoundly philosophical novel, Brand accomplishes something reserved for the most masterful writers of our time.”

Brand’s literary credentials are legion. Theory, also won the 2019 OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, and was a Globe and Mail Best Book. Her latest poetry collection, The Blue Clerk, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. She has been awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her novels have been selected as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, a Best Book by the Los Angeles Times and a Best Book by the Globe and Mail.

Congratulations to all the finalists.