Andrew J. Borkowski wins the 2012 Toronto Book Award!
October 12, 2012 — Andrew J. Borkowski is the WINNER of the 2012 Toronto Book Award for his collection of short stories, Copernicus Avenue! The announcement was made last night at an awards ceremony at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon.
The jury, made up of Toronto Book Awards Committee members Michael Booth, Julia Chan, Tina Edan, Diane Spivak and Kristine Thornley (chair), said, “The clarity and economy of Borkowski’s language conjures every familiar smell and streetscape in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood. This collection of subtly interwoven short stories reaches into the soul of all who have struggled though adversity and continue to persevere.”
“Congratulations to Andrew Borkowski for Copernicus Avenue,” said City of Toronto representative Councillor Gary Crawford. “In his collection of short stories, Mr. Borkowski takes us into the heart of Toronto’s Polish community and gives us a unique insight into the diversity that makes up our great city.”
“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 City Librarian Jane Pyper. “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. Congratulations, Andrew.”
Andrew J. Borkowski was born and raised in Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village. As a freelance journalist, he has published articles in the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Forum, Quill & Quire, TV Guide and the Los Angeles Times. His short fiction has appeared 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 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and published in Journey Prize Stories 19.
The Toronto Book Award offers $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist receives $1,000 and the winning author receives an additional $10,000. The other four finalists included Dave Bidini for Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music and the World of 1972, Farzana Doctor for Six Metres of Pavement, Michele Landsberg for Writing the Revolution, and Suzanne Robertson for Paramita, Little Black.