News Release
June 29, 2021

Just in time for summer reading, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library (TPL) have named the 10 books longlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by Toronto.

This year, the Toronto Book Awards received a record-breaking 93 submissions, a 50 per cent increase over previous years.

The titles selected for the 2021 long list are:

  • Missing From the Village by Justin Ling (Penguin/Random House)
  • Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing (Penguin/Random House)
  • Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (Harper Collins Canada)
  • Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham (Wolsak & Wynn)
  • Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible Publishing)
  • On Property by Rinaldo Walcott (Biblioasis)
  • Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin (Penguin/Random House)
  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (Harper Collins Canada)
  • The Good Fight by Ted Staunton, illustrated by Josh Rosen (Scholastic Canada)
  • Unravel by Sharon Jennings (Red Deer Press)

TPL has created a reading list of the 2021 Toronto Book Awards longlisted titles.

The short list for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards will be announced later this summer and a winner will be named in a ceremony this fall.

This is the 47th year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each shortlisted finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 awarded to the winner. The 2021 Toronto Book Awards Jury comprises volunteer members Geoffrey E. Taylor, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Andy Stanleigh, Angela Wright and Sanchari Sur.

More information about the awards and on Twitter and #tobookawards.


“My sincerest congratulations to the 2021 Toronto Book Awards longlisted authors and publishers for your exceptional books. I encourage people to buy one or all of these titles from your local bookseller and enjoy reading these Toronto stories.”

– Mayor John Tory

“The Toronto Book Awards highlight the incredible literary talent in our city, and we congratulate all the outstanding nominated authors and editors. We know that many people are turning to books during these trying times. The inspiring titles on this list showcase diverse stories and voices that represent Toronto, and are all excellent choices.”

– Toronto Public Library City Librarian Vickery Bowles

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 Toronto Public Library, email Answerline 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.

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