Author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, Karen Connelly has been called “one of Canada’s smartest, fiercest and most intrepid writers.” An outspoken human rights activist, a polyglot, a provocateur, she has spent extended periods in various European countries, travelled in the Middle East and North Africa, lived in Thailand and on the Thai-Myanmar border among refugee and dissident populations. Three of her books have explored the struggles of Burmese dissidents, revolutionary forces, and refugees. Her other home is the Greek island of Lesvos, where she has fundraised for Starfish, a Greek first-responder organization that works with refugees. She has also fundraised and done outreach work for PEN Canada.
She is the author of the acclaimed novel The Lizard Cage, winner of Britain’s Orange Broadband New Novelist’s Prize and shortlisted for the U.S.’s Kiriyama Prize. The New York Times Book Review compared this prison novel to the works of Orwell, Mandela and Solzhenitsyn. Her most recent book is The Change Room, published by PenguinRandomHouse in 2017. The Change Room has been called “revolutionary” and “boundary-breaking” in its treatment of women’s lives and sexuality.
Her writings have been translated into fifteen languages and published in seventeen countries. She lives with her family in Toronto and in Greece. For twenty years, she’s taught creative writing at the Humber School for Writers and for the last decade has been an adjunct professor in the University of Guelph’s MFA program.
Since 2013, after almost thirty years of studying meditation and meditative approaches to therapy, she has taught meditation privately and offered Write-Life™ Coaching. Using guided meditations, writing, and empathic listening, she helps a wide variety of people welcome more peace into their lives, open up to new adventures, and work through creative blocks.
History of Literary Publications/Works in Progress
(publishers are Canadian unless otherwise indicated)
The Change Room, Random House Canada, Spring, 2017
De meisjes kleedkamer (The Change Room in Dutch) Querido, Netherlands, Fall, 2017
Come Cold River, Quattro Books, Canada, 2013.
Translated into Estonian by Katlin Kaldma in 2015.
Burmese Lessons, Random House Canada, Fall, 2009, Doubleday/Nan A. Talese, 2010
The Lizard Cage , Random House Canada, Fall, 2005
Doubleday/Nan A. Talese 2007
Harvill and Secker, Britain 2007
Buchet-Chastel, France 2007
Querido, Holland, 2006
Frassinelli, Italy, 2006
Grace and Poison ; essay and new edition of poetry, Turnstone Press, 2001
The Border Surrounds Us ; poetry, McClelland and Stewart Publishers, 2000.
The Disorder of Love ; poetry/photographs. Gutter Press, 1997.
One Room In A Castle, Letters from Spain, France, and Greece; Turnstone Press, 1995. Published in Australia (HarperCollins) and the U.K. (Black Swan) in 1997.
Touch The Dragon, A Thai Journal; creative non-fiction-travel, Turnstone Press, l992.
Published in the U.S. as A Dream of a Thousand Lives, by Seal Press.
English language publication in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia in 1994. (Silkworm Books)
Translated and published in Chinese in Taipei, Taiwan, 1995. (Perfect Wisdom Publishing)
Australia (HarperCollins) and the U.K. (Black Swan) in 1996.
Published in German translation (Bastei-Lubbe) in 1998.
This Brighter Prison , A Book of Journeys; poetry/fiction, Brick Books, l993.
The Small Words In My Body, poetry; Kalamalka Press, l990. New edition by Gutter Press, 1995. New edition by Turnstone Press, 2001.
A new novel.
A collections of essays.