Susan Olding’s first book, Pathologies: A Life in Essays, takes us on an unforgettable journey into the complex heart of being human. In prose that the Globe and Mail describes as “wise and well–wrought,” each essay explores a different aspect of Susan’s life, from her teenage quarrels with her father, to her experience as the mother of a daughter adopted from China; from the tricky world of adolescent friendship, to her work as a teacher and counsellor.

Winner of the Creative Nonfiction Collective’s Readers’ Choice Award for 2010, and Longlisted for the BC Award for Canadian Nonfiction and Canada Also Reads, Pathologies, “combines the visceral force of lived experience with the nuance and narrative drive of the best fiction,” says novelist Nino Ricci, while the Vancouver Sun commends these “smartly presented essays” for their “excruciating clarity” and “surgical skill.”

Susan’s poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies across Canada and the United States. She has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award, two Western Magazine Awards, and a CBC Literary Award; she is also a two–time winner of the Event Creative Nonfiction Contest, winner of the Prairie Fire Nonfiction Contest, and the recipient of The New Quarterly’s inaugural Edna Award.

Born in Toronto, Susan came to Kingston in the late 1980s to attend law school, but she soon abandoned that professional path in favour of teaching and writing. She lives with her family near City Park and is currently working on a novel, parts of which are set in China.

Photo Credit: John W. MacDonald