Book cover for Rinaldo Walcott's On Property. Features the author's name and title at the top with "Field Notes" written on the side vertically. Overlapping the title is a security camera.We’re excited to announce that Rinaldo Walcott’s On Property has been nominated for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards! The longlist was announced yesterday on June 29, 2021. Rinaldo Walcott is one of 10 authors on the longlist. The shortlist will be announced in August 2021.

Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by the city. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money with shortlisted authors receiving $1,000 each and the winner taking home $10,000.

There are no separate categories: novels, short story collections, books of poetry, books on history, politics and social issues, biographies, books about sports, children’s and young adult books, graphic novels and photographic collections are judged together.

Jurors for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards narrowed the field from a record-setting 93 submissions to just 10 books. The 2021 Book Awards Jury was made up of Geoffrey E. Taylor, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Andy Stanleigh, Angela Wright, and Sanchari Sur.

The other books on the 2021 longlist are Missing From the Village by Justin Ling (Penguin/Random House), Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing (Penguin/Random House), Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (Simon & Schuster), Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham (Wolsak & Wynn), Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible Publishing), Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin (Penguin/Random House), Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (Harper Collins Canada), The Good Fight by Ted Staunton, & illustrated by Josh Rosen (Scholastic Canada), and Unravel by Sharon Jennings (Red Deer Press). Last year’s winner was The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole (Doubleday Canada).



Photo Credit: Abdi Osman

From plantation rebellion to prison labour’s super-exploitation, Walcott examines the relationship between policing and property.

That a man can lose his life for passing a fake $20 bill when we know our economies are flush with fake money says something damning about the way we’ve organized society. Yet the intensity of the calls to abolish the police after George Floyd’s death surprised almost everyone. What, exactly, does abolition mean? How did we get here? And what does property have to do with it? In On Property, Rinaldo Walcott explores the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife and shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work of their forebears in service of an imaginative, creative philosophy that ensures freedom and equality for all. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, compassionate, and profound, On Property makes an urgent plea for a new ethics of care.



Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, gender and sexuality.


Get your copy of On Property from Biblioasis here!