Samra Habib, Desmond Cole, Vivek Shraya longlisted for $10K Toronto Book Awards
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya and The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole are among the 12 books longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards, an annual $10,000 prize that goes to the book that best evokes the city of Toronto.
We Have Always Been Here is an exploration of the ways we disguise and minimize ourselves for the sake of survival.
As a child, Habib hid her faith from Islamic extremists in Pakistan and later, as a refugee in Canada, endured racist bullying and the threat of an arranged marriage. In travelling the world and exploring art and sexuality, Habib searches for the truth of her identity.
The Skin We're In is journalist and activist Desmond Cole's first book, and it explores life in Canada as a Black person. When it was published in February 2020, it became one of the bestselling books in the country.
The Skin We're In looks at one year, 2017, and chronicles Cole's personal journalism, activism and experiences alongside stories that made the headlines across the country.
The book examines accounts of refugees crossing the Canada-U.S. border in the middle of winter and the death of Somali-Canadian Abdirahman Abdi at the hands of the Ottawa police.
In The Subtweet, Neela Devaki's song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini. When the two musicians meet, a transformative friendship begins. But, as Rukmini's star rises, jealousy creeps in, and Neela sends out a highly-destructive tweet that blows up their friendship.
Here is the full longlist:
- Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
- The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole
- The Missing Millionaire by Katie Daubs
- The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
- We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
- In the Beggarly Style of Imitation by Jean Marc Ah-Sen
- Artistic Glass by Cloe Aigner
- Dancing After TEN by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber
- Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt
- Last Impressions by Joseph Kertes
- Take Back the Tray by Joshna Maharaj
- Mobile by Tanis MacDonald
The shortlist for the Toronto Book Awards will be announced on Nov. 2, 2020, followed by the winner named in a virtual presentation on Nov. 30, 2020.
The 2020 jury is comprised of Kate Cayley, Michael Fraser and Liz Howard.
Other past winners include David Chariandy for his novel Brother, B. Denham Jolly for his memoir In the Black, Kamal Al-Solaylee for his memoir Intolerable, Charlotte Gray for her nonfiction book The Massey Murder and Anne Michaels for her novel Fugitive Pieces.