Finalists for the book awards

The finalists for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. (CBC)

The true story of a maid who shot Bert Massey, the coming-of-age tale of growing up in Toronto and a book about a sassy kung-fu vigilante are among the finalists for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards.

The finalists are:

  • Anthony De Sa, Kicking The Sky (Doubleday Canada).
  • Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country (HarperCollins Canada Ltd.)
  • Carrianne K. Y. Leung, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications).
  • Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement (Random House Canada).
  • Shyam Selvadurai, The Hungry Ghosts (Doubleday Canada).

The award is known to go to multiple winners — with as many as three authors winning the grand prize on a given year. In fact it wasn't till 1987 — 13 years into its existence — that the grand prize went to one author.

"These wonderful books, so engaging and diverse in their perspectives, are now part of the fabric of our city. They are tales of wealth and privilege, poverty and loss, identity and social activism. Along the way, they touch down in the Annex, Queen West, Scarborough and Little Portugal, and reflect the many places Torontonians call home," said city librarian Anne Bailey.

The Toronto Book Awards were established by Toronto City Council in 1974. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winning author receives $10,000.

CBC Radio’s Gill Deacon will announce the winner of the awards at the Toronto Reference Library on Oct. 16.

The shortlisted authors will read from their books at The Word On The Street book and magazine fair on Sept. 21. The authors do a reading at the Toronto Public Library’s Yorkville Branch on Oct. 8.

Past winners include Robertson Davies, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood and 2013's winner, Kamal Al-Solaylee.