News Release
November 17, 2022

Sarah Polley has been awarded the 2022 Toronto Book Award for her memoir Run Towards the Danger, published by Penguin Random House Canada. The announcement was made last night at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, presented in conjunction with program partner Toronto Public Library (TPL).

The 2022 Toronto Book Awards volunteer jury described Polley’s memoir as “a brave, intelligent and sometimes funny book of essays.” It is a collection of autobiographical stories from the Toronto-based, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director and actor who delves into her past to illuminate powerful truths about post-traumatic memory, our relationship to the body, and how we tell our stories.

Run Towards the Danger was chosen from a list of finalists that included:

  • The Relatives by Camilla Gibb (Double Day Canada)
  • Two Indians by Falen Johnson (J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing)
  • Wrong Side of the Court by HN Khan (PRH Canada Young Readers)
  • The Underground Railroad, Next Stop, Toronto! by Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper, Karolyn Smardz Frost (Dundurn Press)

TPL has created a reading list of the 2022 Toronto Book Award shortlisted titles.

2022 marks the 48th year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in total prize money. Each shortlisted finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 awarded to the winner. The 2022 Toronto Book Awards jury comprised author Ann Y.K. Choi (whose novel Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety was shortlisted for this prize in 2016), retired TPL librarian Margaret Henry, poet Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi, author Phillip Dwight Morgan, and Indigenous educator Brenda Wastasecoot.

This year, the Toronto Book Awards received 73 submissions. The jury noted the high quality of work and was delighted with the variety of submissions that included non-fiction, fiction, a play and essays on the shortlist.

Polley will join all of her fellow finalists on Monday, November 21 at the historic Arts & Letters Club of Toronto, 14 Elm St., 6:30 p.m., to read from and talk about her book. Tickets are $24 each and are available via Eventbrite.

More information about the awards is available on the City’s Toronto Book Awards webpage and on Twitter at @Culture_TO (#TOBookAwards).


“Congratulations to Sarah Polley for her Toronto Book Awards achievement. I want to applaud all of the finalists for their poignant prose for their works, which reflect the diversity of our city. I also want to encourage Toronto residents to pick up one of this year’s Toronto Book Awards titles from their local book store or Toronto Public Library.”
– Mayor John Tory

“A huge congratulations to Sarah Polley for her Toronto Book Awards win, as well as to all of the finalists for sharing their work with us. I encourage Toronto residents to take a look at this year’s Toronto Book Awards titles and add them to their reading lists this year.”
– Councillor Paul Ainslie (Scarborough-Guildwood)

“The library is proud to congratulate Sarah Polley on winning the 2022 Toronto Book Awards. Run Towards the Danger is an incredibly honest, courageous and moving must-read memoir. I encourage Torontonians to add this book, along with all the other wonderful nominated titles, to their reading lists.”
– Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

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Media Relations
City of Toronto
Media Relations
Toronto Public Library