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Author Rabindranath Maharaj has won the Trillium Book Award for his new novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy. (Canadian Press)

Trinidad-born writer Rabindranath Maharaj has won this year's $20,000 English-language Trillium Book Award.

Maharaj, who lives in Ajax, Ont., nabbed the honour Friday for his immigrant tale The Amazing Absorbing Boy, in which a Trinidadian teen is sent to live with his father in Toronto after the death of his mother.

Maharaj triumphed over prominent finalists such as Emma Donoghue (for her acclaimed Room) and Michael Winter (for The Death of Donna Whalen).

Jeff Latosik of Toronto won the $10,000 Trillium Book Award for English-language poetry for Tiny, Frantic, Stronger.

The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987.

This year it also handed out a $20,000 prize for best French-language book (Montreal native Estelle Beauchamp won for Un souffle venu de loin) and a $10,000 award for children's literature in French-language. That winner was Daniel Marchildon of Penetanguishene, Ont., for La premiere guerre de Toronto.

Previous winners of the Trillium Book Award include Margaret Atwood, Wayson Choy, Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje.

Publishers of the winning books each receive $2,500 towards their promotional costs.