Two novels, a book of poetry,one memoir, and a photography book — all of which have Toronto as a focus — have made it to the 2013 Toronto Book Awards shortlist. One of them is Aden-born Kamal al-Solaylee’s Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes:
Jane Pyper of the Toronto Public Library announced the list, noting that one of the novel and al-Solaylee’s memoir “each tackle questions of identity.”
The award offers $15,000 in prize money: Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winning author takes the remaining $11,000. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the award honors “authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.”
Al-Solaylee was born in Yemen, and his family left for Beirut and Cairo after 1967. He returned briefly in his 20s before moving to London to complete his Ph.D. in English. From there, he settled in Canada.
His memoir was also shortlisted for the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Memoir/Biography category.
The winner is set to be announced Wednesday, Oct. 9.