Karen Connelly


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 lived in Thailand, Spain, France, and Greece, travelled in the Middle East and North Africa, and spent extended periods of time in Myanmar and on the Thai-Myanmar border. Three of her books have explored the struggles of Burmese political prisoners, dissidents, 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 Random House in 2017. The Change Room has been called “revolutionary” and “boundary-breaking” in its treatment of women’s lives and sexuality. In 2019 she will publish a collection of her award-winning essays.

Her writings have been translated into and published in sixteen languages. She lives with her family in Toronto, where she is also a WriteLife and OEI therapist in private practice.