Congratulations to Rabindranath Maharaj, winner of the 2011 Toronto Book Awards

October 14, 2011 | Dawn

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Toronto Reference Library was the ideal setting for last night’s Toronto Book Awards Gala.  In accepting the prize for his novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy, Rabindranath Maharaj acknowledged that the inspiration for his story and main character came from observing the many people who come and use Toronto Reference Library every day. 


Cover-the-amazing-absorbing-boy    Rabindranath Maharaj

Maharaj spent four months here in 2006 as our Writer in Residence, conducting workshops on creative writing and meeting with aspiring writers to review their work.  During this time, Maharaj started thinking about the lives and experiences of the people in the library, especially new Canadians. 

The Amazing Absorbing Boy follows seventeen-year-old Samuel, who arrives in Toronto from Trinidad following the death of his mother.  Naïve and with a comic-book sensibility, Samuel explores and discovers his new city.



The Toronto Book Awards were established by City Council in 1974 to honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.
The Amazing Absorbing Boy and the other four finalists’ books are all available to borrow from Toronto Public Library:

The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj
What Disturbs Our Blood by James Fitzgerald 
Etienne’s Alphabet by James King
The Parabolist by Nicholas Ruddock
Fauna by Alissa York

Maharaj is also one of the many writers who has contributed Recommended Reading Lists for the library. Check out his reading suggestions.

With thanks to Phyllis