Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Diane Schoemperlen is the award-winning author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction. Her works include several collections of short fiction, most recently Red Plaid Shirt: New and Selected Stories; three novels, In the Language of Love, Our Lady of the Lost and Found, and At A Loss For Words; and the non-fiction book, Names of the Dead: An Elegy for the Victims of September 11. Her collection of stories, The Man of My Dreams, was shortlisted for both the Governor-General’s Award and the Trillium Prize. Her collection of illustrated stories, Forms of Devotion: Stories and Pictures won the 1998 Governor-General’s Award for English Fiction. It was recently published in Quebec by Éditions Alto, as Encylopédie du monde visible. Her work has also been published internationally in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Korea, and China. She received the 2007 Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada. She has been Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her newest book has been nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize. This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications, takes a close and candid look at her relationship with a federal inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Diane has lived in Kingston, Ontario, since 1986.
Canada was once known for its humane and ethical prison system, but with the Harper government's policy to make prison more punitive and less rehabilitative, conditions inside became more dangerous for both inmates and staff, and most of the programs that provided support and training for inmates were cut.
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