Guy Gavriel Kay was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, in 1954, and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In 1984, he published his first novel, The Summer Tree, to acclaim in Canada and abroad. The novel began the Fionavar Tapestry, a trilogy of books steeped in Arthurian myth and legend that has become a classic of modern fantasy literature. More than a dozen novels have followed, including Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, and, River of Stars. His work has been described as “history with a quarter-turn to the fantastic” and his novels, inspired by history, have been vital in bridging the divide between literary fiction and the literature of the fantastic.
Kay has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of a Aurora Award, and won the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Ysabel. His works have been translated into 25 languages and worldwide book sales are approaching three million copies.
Kay was called to the bar after completing his legal training, and was a writer and producer at the CBC.
He was retained by the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien to assist in the editorial construction of Tolkien’s posthumously published The Silmarillion prior to publishing his own work.
In 2014, Kay was named a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of “his contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author.”
Kay lives in Toronto with his wife and sons.
2015 LecturerMargaret Laurence Lecture Series
- Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
- Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
- Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers
- Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
- Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
- Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
- RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
- Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
- Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
- Weston International Award
- Writers’ Trust Engel Findley Award
- Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
- Writers’ Trust Mentorship
- Woodcock Fund Grant
- Berton House Writers' Residency
- Writers' Trust Rising Stars
- WT Amplified Voices