TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Charlotte Gray is the winner of the 2014 Toronto Book Award for her non-fiction book, The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country. The announcement was made this evening at an awards ceremony at the Toronto Reference Library's Bram & Bluma Appel Salon.
"I offer my warm congratulations to Charlotte Gray, who has drawn an unforgettable portrait of Toronto's social life at the beginning of the 20th century," said Acting City Librarian Anne Bailey. "In telling the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey, Charlotte Gray captures the class conflict and societal upheaval that marked our city's reinvention of itself at the onset of the Great War. As the author notes in her introduction: 'A single bullet fired on Walmer Road had an extraordinary significance.'"
Gray, who is one of Canada's pre-eminent biographers and historians, has won many awards for her work, including the prestigious Pierre Berton Award for a body of historical writing, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the Ottawa Book Award, and the CAA Birks Family Foundation Award for Biography. Her nine books have brought our past to life. A member of the Order of Canada, Gray was a panelist for the 2013 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads.
Gray's The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country (HarperCollinsCanada Ltd.) was chosen from a list of finalists that included Anthony De Sa for his novel, Kicking The Sky (Doubleday Canada); Carrianne K. Y. Leung for her novel, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications); Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis for their social science, agriculture and food book, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement (Random House Canada); and Shyam Selvadurai for his novel, The Hungry Ghosts (Doubleday Canada).
The 2014 Toronto Book Awards Committee, which is responsible for choosing the shortlist and the winner, is made up of Michael Booth, Tina Edan, Evan Munday, Diane Spivak (chair) and Karen Teeple. They volunteered their time to read all of the nominated books and select the finalists and the winner from more than 70 entries.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. Each shortlisted author receives $1,000 and the winning author receives $10,000 in prize money. More information about the awards and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books is available at http://www.toronto.ca/book_awards.
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Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.
SOURCE: City of Toronto
For further information: Media contacts: Debby de Groot, Toronto Book Awards Publicist, 647-295-2970, [email protected]; Theresa Bailie, Protocol Services, 416-392-7805, [email protected]; Yvonne Hunter, Toronto Public Library, 416-393-7098, [email protected]