A book of short stories that explores life in Toronto’s Polish community has been declared winner of the 2012 Toronto Book Award.

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Andrew Borkowski won the Toronto Book Award for Copernicus Avenue. (City of Toronto)

Writer Andrew J. Borkowski was named winner of the $10,000 prize Thursday night for his debut book Copernicus Avenue. 

"In Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski has given us beautiful stories rooted firmly in a specific time and place – the Roncesvalles neighbourhood after the Second World War," said Jane Pyper of the Toronto Public Library, which hosts the award along with the city.

"From that neighbourhood, the stories widen out to illuminate the complicated lives of people in a new country, creating their futures and dealing with their past."

Borkowski, who was raised in Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village, is a freelance journalist and has had his short fiction published in Grain, The New Quarterly and Storyteller magazine. His short story Twelve Versions of Lech, which appears in Copernicus Avenue, was nominated for the 2007 Journey Prize.

The other finalists, each of whom win $1,000, were:

  • Dave Bidini, for biography Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 (McClelland & Stewart).
  • Farzana Doctor for novel Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn Press).
  • Michele Landsberg for her collection of columns Writing the Revolution (Second Story Press).
  • Suzanne Robertson for her collection of poetry Paramita, Little Black (Guernica Editions).