Every Tuesday afternoon, Torontoist rounds up the city’s literary news, including book deals, events, local sales, author happenings, and insider information from the book industry.
No real surprises or upsets at today’s Toronto Book Award shortlist announcement by Mayor David Miller at the Toronto Reference Library. As anyone could have predicted, the list included Barbara Gowdy’s Helpless and David Chariandy’s Soucouyant, novels that have both already racked up a number of other nominations and awards. A list of five chosen from sixty-eight books considered, the other nominees included Elyse Friedman’s novella and short story collection Long Story Short, Glen Downie’s poetry collection Loyalty Management, and Elspeth Cameron’s non-fiction work And Beauty Answers: The Life of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle. The shortlist is primarily made up of the products of independent presses—only Gowdy’s publisher, Harper Collins Canada, is excluded from the indie definition. The winner will be announced October 17 and will be considered for the 2009 Keep Toronto Reading One Book campaign (featuring the unfortunate slogan “Get Lit”). Past winners of the Toronto Book Award include Torontoist hero Michael Redhill (for his novel Consolation), along with more predicable picks like Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood.
For something completely different this week, catch celebrated poet and novelist Zoe Whittall at The Gladstone Hotel on Wednesday for Granny Boots, an event that asks partygoers to “come ready to dance, be entertained, freak out and go home at a reasonable hour.” The evening will also feature DJs and musical acts, including Emma McKenna, Nolan Natasha, MC Joan Nestle, Lisa Bozikovic, and Liz Brockest. It all starts at 7:30 p.m. and ends at a very reasonable 10:00 p.m, so, as the press release advises, “you can go home watch Law and Order until 11 p.m. and go to bed.”
This Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Random House of Canada will be on hand at Union Station handing out mass quantities of Case Histories by Kate Atkinson in an effort to promote her latest novel, When Will There Be Good News?. Get down to the station and get yourself a freebie.
Photo by Stacey May Fowles.