Canada Reads revealed its 2015 finalists and Ryerson journalism professor Kamal Al-Solaylee’s debut novel made the cut.

Kamal Al-Solaylee's novel is a 2015 Canada Reads finalist. (The Ryersonian Archives)

Kamal Al-Solaylee’s novel won the 2013 Toronto Book Award. (The Ryersonian Archives)

Intolerable: A Memior of Extremes traces Al-Solaylee’s journey as a gay, Middle Eastern man settling in Canada, while coping with family members who turn to uncompromising renditions of Islam.

This year’s theme for the competition is “one book to break barriers,” and the novels chosen bring to the forefront social issues like indigenous identity, struggles faced by immigrants and homophobia in Canada.

Al-Solaylee’s 2012 memoir received critical acclaim and won the 2013 Toronto Book Award.

Five panelists each selected three books and five novels now remain. Each of them will argue for their pick on a debate that airs March 16 to 19 on CBC Radio One and CBC Television. Actress Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast, Smallville) will speak for Al-Solaylee’s book.

By Maham Shakeel

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