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Jenny Heijun

Jenny Heijun Wills writes about race and ethnicity both as a scholar of literary and cultural studies and as a creative writer. She was born in Seoul and was adopted and raised in a white family in southern Ontario. Wills is co-president of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture and serves as an editorial board member for the literary studies journal, ARIEL. She has lived, studied, and worked in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Seoul and holds a PhD in English Literary Studies. Wills currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba.


Jenny Heijun Wills' award-winning Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.

Award History

2019 Winner

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.: A Memoir

Jury Citation

"Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.: A Memoir is a poignant story of the untidy family life that unfolds when Jenny Heijun Wills travels from Montreal to Seoul to find the biological parents who gave her up for adoption in her infancy. Braving heartbreak and the risk of forever losing her way, Wills journeys through the emotional terrain of home, bonding, and belonging with exceptional poise. Finely observed, meticulous, and candid, this memoir offers its subjects no easy redemptions, only the chance to grow together towards greater understanding. Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. captures Canada at its richest, deeply rooted in home while also very much part of the world."

— 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Ivan Coyote, Trevor Herriot, and Manjushree Thapa)