Elizabeth Ruth

ELIZABETH RUTH was born in 1968 in Windsor, Ontario. She is an only child and proud to have been raised by a single mother. Elizabeth moved homes 40-odd times as a child and teen, living in Canada, Columbia and the U.S. As a young woman she took herself to live in France. Elizabeth attended eight schools before arriving at University - in one year changing public schools three times - and as a result she isn't shy and really enjoys meeting new people!

Elizabeth wasn't always sure she'd go to university, having been on the verge of being expelled from both public and high schools for truancy, failure to complete assignments, boredom, and challendging authority, but she loved learning too much to be put off and so eventually she decided that she belonged in a university as much as anyone, and got focussed. She completed an honours BA at the University of Toronto and later went on to earn an MA. She studied English literature and at the graduate level, counselling psychology. As an adult, Elizabeth has also participated in several creative writing workshops. In recent years she studied at the Humber School for Writers.

Before living full-time as a writer, Elizabeth Ruth worked for 11 years as a counsellor in the social service sector. She worked in women's shelters and community-based mental health centres in Toronto and Vancouver, and focussed her attention on people who often get lost in mainstream mental health services - youth, those labelled schizophrenic, and the homeless. Elizabeth has always been interested in how society defines "normal" and why. Themes of identity, sanity/madness, and "the outcast", frequently appear in her fiction. Elizabeth has worked for pay since the age of fourteen and some of her other jobs included: a donut shop, a bookstore, cleaning offices, being a maid, dishwaher, the midnight shift at the Chrysler mini-van plant, bilingual tour guide, selling antiques, as a temp, and so on...

Elizabeth's first novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence took her four years to write. It was published to critical acclaim in fall 2001 and named as a finalist for the Roger's Writer's Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, the City of Toronto Book Award and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies across Canada, and she writes book reviews and conducts author interviews for local and national newspapers. Elizabeth was an editor with Fireweed Quarterly from 1998-2002 and is currently teaching short story writing at George Brown College. She lives in an apartment in Toronto and is currently putting the finishing touches on her second novel, Smoke. You can always find out more by visiting www.elizabethruth.com.

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