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Helen Humphreys is an author of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Several of her books have been national bestsellers and named as The New York Times Notable Books of the Year and The Globe and Mail  Best Books of the Year. Humphreys has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, and the City of Toronto Book Award. She has also been shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and CBC’s Canada Reads, as well as longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the British Columbia National Award for Non-Fiction. In 2009, Humphreys was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence. She was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Award History

Selection Committee Citation

Helen Humphreys has said that writing a novel is like trying to break out of the prison you’ve created by your idea. In that sense, Humphreys is an accomplished escape artist, having written twelve novels, five books of poetry, and five books of nonfiction.   

In her most recent work, such as Machine Without Horses and the forthcoming Followed by the Lark, she explores the fertile territory in the overlap between fiction and nonfiction, and between nature and the human experience. Humphreys’ quiet brilliance has made her one of Canada’s most beloved writers. In book after book, she has led her many readers into ever new and exciting territory. 

Jury Citation

Afterimage is a splendid achievement: sophisticated, fascinating, beautifully done. Helen Humphreys draws us into a nineteenth-century world of photography, cartography and Victorian mores and holds us there, spellbound, by dint of a gripping tale about love and identity, by unusual characters, rich details and eloquent prose. Afterimage is magical, truly a winning book.” — 2000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize jury (Cynthia Holz, Janice Kulyk Keefer, and Peter Oliva)

Works recognized by WT

After Image


The River