News Release
November 2, 2020

The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library have named the five titles shortlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards. This year’s shortlisted titles include a novel, a graphic novel, a short story collection and two works of non-fiction and tell stories that reflect the diversity and depth of the communities that call Toronto home.

The titles selected for the 2020 short list are:

  • Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (House of Anansi Press)
  • Dancing After TEN by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, project management and access support by Kathleen Rea (Fantagraphics)
  • In the Beggarly Style of Imitation by Jean Marc Ah-Sen (Nightwood Editions)
  • The Missing Millionaire by Katie Daubs (McClelland & Stewart)
  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole (Doubleday Canada)

The winner of the 2020 Toronto Book Awards will be announced in a ceremony livestreamed from the Toronto Reference Library on November 30. The Toronto Star is the official media sponsor of the 2020 Toronto Book Awards.

This is the 46th year of the Toronto Book Awards. Established by City Council in 1974, the awards honour books of literary merit that are evocative of Toronto. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each shortlisted finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 awarded to the winner. This year’s Toronto Book Awards Committee comprises volunteer members Kate Cayley, Michael Fraser, Liz Howard, Ben McNally and Naben Ruthnum. More information about the awards is available at and on Twitter at @Culture_TO and #tobookawards.


“Without fail, the Toronto Book Awards highlight the authors and the stories of this creative and diverse city and I congratulate all of the nominees. Reading these inspiring stories is the perfect antidote to these challenging times and I encourage Torontonians to explore these titles and get reading.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Congratulations to all the talented nominated authors for their tremendous literary works. Now, more than ever, we need to hear diverse voices and experiences, and this year’s Toronto Books Awards shortlist certainly does this, honouring local authors whose work showcases the best of Toronto’s stories and cultures. We’re so proud to celebrate them all, and encourage everyone to explore these essential books.”

– Vickery Bowles, City Librarian

Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system, with more than 46 million annual visits to our branches and online. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and knowledge economy through easy access to technology, lifelong learning, and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, where, when and how our customers need us. To learn more, visit, email Answerline at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to email updates.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations