Lynn Coady - Biography

A good measure of the calibre of Lynn Coady’s work and its positive critical reception is the fact that a writer as young as Coady is already considered by the Canada Council for the Arts as an artist in mid-career (she won the Council’s 2005 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for an artist in mid-career). Known for her distinctive brand of comic Maritime realism, Coady was born in Port Hawkesbury in 1970 and lived there until 1988 when she moved to Ottawa to pursue journalism at Carleton University. Changing gears, however, Coady ended up graduating with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. After completing her undergraduate work, Coady went on to graduate with an M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. While there, she completed her first novel, Strange Heaven, which was subsequently shortlisted for the 1998 Governor-General’s Award and which won the 1998 Air Canada/Canadian Author’s Association Award for Most Promising Writer Under Thirty and the 1999 Atlantic Bookseller’s Choice Award. This novel draws from Coady’s own experience as an adopted child and as a pregnant teenager who put her child up for adoption. Since publishing Strange Heaven, Coady has published three other novels, Saints of Big Harbour (2002), Mean Boy (2006), and The Antagonist (2011), which was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and one collection of short stories, Play the Monster Blind (2000), which won the Dartmouth Book and Writing Award for fiction. She has also edited Victory Meat: New Fiction from Atlantic Canada (2003). Though Coady is primarily known as a fiction writer, she has written extensively for Canadian periodicals, including The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Canadian Geographic and Chatelaine. Furthermore, Coady served as a senior writer and editor at the Vancouver-based Adbusters Magazine. Coady also has experience as a creative writing teacher, having taught at Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, The Maritime Writer’s Workshop, Douglas College and The Sage Hill Writing Experience. Her short story collection Hellgoing won the 2013 Giller Prize. Coady currently lives in Edmonton.