10/09/2013 08:44 EDT | Updated 12/09/2013 05:12 EST

Kamal Al-Solaylee wins Toronto Book Award for "Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes"

TORONTO - A memoir telling the personal experiences of a gay man leaving his Arab family and culture for a better life in Toronto has won the 2013 Toronto Book Award.

Writer Kamal Al-Solaylee was named winner of the $10,000 prize on Wednesday night for his book "Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes."

It is his fifth nomination and first time winning the award.

Al-Solaylee hopes the book will inspire readers to think about the stories and history of Arab people who appear in the news.

Al-Solaylee — a journalism professor at Ryerson University — dedicated his book to the city of Toronto in his acceptance speech.