Caroline Adderson's first short story collection, Bad Imaginings (Porcupine's Quill, 1993), won the 1994 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the 1993 Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize. She has also received the 2006 Marion Engel Award and Adderson's young adult novel Middle of Nowhere (Groundwood 2012) received the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize awarded to the best non-illustrated book written for children in 2013 [as shown, photo by Monica Miller].

A History of Forgetting (Key Porter, 1999) raises disturbing questions: Where did the potency of Hitler's Final Solution come from? Does its malignancy live on? At the heart of the story is a contemporary twist on an 'odd couple' friendship. A gay hairdresser named Malcolm Firth is losing his lifelong partner to Alzheimer's disease; his apprentice at his salon, Alison, is traumatized after one a co-worker is brutally murdered by skinheads. Unable to escape from pain, they move towards it. Malcolm and Alison travel to post-communist Poland to visit the killing grounds of Auschwitz. How can we make sense of a world that is so rife with cruelty? A History of Forgetting was nominated for the 2000 Rogers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Adderson's second novel, Sitting Practice (Thomas Allen, 2004) also won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and it also explores enduring pain and grief in different forms. The central character of Ilianna has been stricken by a spinal cord injury, confined to a wheelchair, after her celibate-by-choice husband Ross drove their car into a moving van three-and-a-half weeks after their wedding. A tennis ball rolled onto the floor of the car and... Iliana, two years later, is still lustful and considering infidelity. Adderson visited the Spinal ward at Vancouver General Hospital and attended Buddhist retreats like one described in her novel. "I also came across a fabulous book about women's sexuality and SCI," she says. "It blew me away... I communicated online for about six months with five women with SCI." Sitting Practice is far from bleak. The writing is whip-smart, and amusing. You care. [See review below.] Sitting Practice was shortlisted for the 2004 VanCity Book Prize for best book pertaining to women's issues by a B.C. author.

Nine more stories have added to Adderson's growing reputation for compassionate fiction in Pleased to Meet You (Thomas Allen, 2006). Adderson's first children's novel, "Very Serious Children," was published in 2007. Adderson was born in Edmonton in 1963. Recently she has written a children's book series for ages 7 to 10, illustrated by Ben Clanton.

In Adderson's adult novel The Sky Is Falling (Thomas Allen, 2010), a physician's wife opens the newspaper and learns her old student friend has just been released after twenty years of prison for charges of terrorism. The story is set in an era of where fear of nuclear war leads to political activism and paranoia.

After a year in New Orleans and a year in Toronto, she moved back to Vancouver where she studied at UBC. Her stories have been widely published in magazines and one story, 'Oil and Dread', was selected for the Journey Prize Anthology 5. She has taught ESL at a community college and twice won prizes in the CBC literary competition. Adderson has had a radio play broadcast on CBC Radio's Morningside and her feature-length screenplay, Ying-Yang, has been produced in Vancouver. Her papers are at SFU Special Collections.

As the only author to have won both of B.C.'s top fiction prizes--the Ethel Wilson Prize for adult fiction (in 1994 and 2005), and the Sheila Egoff Prize for children's literature (in 2013)--Caroline Adderson continued with her split writing personality in 2014, releasing A Simple Case of Angels (Groundwood) for children aged 8 to 11, as well as an adult novel, Ellen in Pieces (Crean / HarperCollins).

In the former, hoping to rehabilitate the reputation of her adorable but overly-mischievous dog June Bug, Nicola decides to take her pet to visit the shut-ins at the new Shady Oaks nursing home, but Nicola's mother won't allow her to go alone. She is forced to accept the company of a new girl she doesn't like in order to discover that more than a few of the elderly patients are being kept against their will. June Bug and Nicola become involved in an escape plan.

In the latter, as told through the eyes of a lover, an ex-husband, two daughters, a grandson, and a friend, Ellen in Pieces is the story of Ellen McGinty, who, in the middle years of her life, sells the home in which she raised her daughters, finds a lover twenty years her junior, and begins to explore love and the possibility of recovery from regret. Advance chapters won the 2013 national Magazine Award Gold Medal for Fiction and the 2013 Alberta Magazine Association Gold Medal for Fiction; and were shortlisted for the 2013 National Magazine Award for fiction, the 2013 Western Magazine Award for Fiction.

Caroline Adderson's series of books about a spirited only child named Jasper John Dooley dotingly echo her experiences of observing childhood as a parent. Written for ages 7 to 10, her Jasper series describes the emotional adventures of a perfectly normal boy who experiences girl-it-is and copes with a sudden, guilty need to imbibe overly-sugared soft drinks. The author tagline for the fourth installment, Jasper John Dooley: You're in Trouble (Kids Can 2015) describes Adderson as someone who lives with her husband, her dog "and the son who lied to them when he said he would always be seven." She simultaneously published a story for children aged 3 to 7, Eat, Leo! Eat! (Kids Can 2015), about a boy who is enticed to eat homemade pasta by the cook's stories about a different-shaped pasta every week.

Between 2004 and 2015, more than 10,000 demolition permits were issued for residential buildings in the city of Vancouver. As of 2015, an average of three houses a day were being torn down, many of them original homes built for the middle and working class in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Very few are deemed significant enough to merit heritage protection, but Caroline Adderson and other Vancouver writers believed the demoliton of these dwellings amounted to an architectural loss. She therefore spearheaded Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival (Anvil 2015), co-authored with John Atkin, Kerry Gold, Evelyn Lau, Eve Lazarus, John Mackie, Elise & Stephen Partridge and Bren Simmers. The introduction is by heritage artist and activist Michael Kluckner--who has published a book called Vanishing Vancouver--and photographs are by Tracey Ayton and Adderson. The book was nominated for a Bill Duthie booksellers' choice award.


Bad Imaginings (Porcupine's Quill, 1993)
A History of Forgetting (Key Porter, 1999)
Sitting Practice (Thomas Allen, 2003 $32.95)
Pleased to Meet You (Thomas Allen, 2006), $26.95
Very Serious Children (Scholastic, 2007) $9.99 978-0-439-93751-1
I, Bruno (Orca Echoes, 2007) $6.95 978-1-55143-501-5
Burno for Real, illustrated by Helen Flook (Orca Echoes, 2009)
The Sky Is Falling (Thomas Allen, 2010) 978-088762-613-5 $32.95
Film Studies (Annick, 2010).
Middle of Nowhere (Groundwood 2012)
Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind (Kids Can) $16.95 978-1-55453-579-8. Illustrated by Ben Clanton.
Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week (Kids Can) $16.95 978-1-77138-119-2. Illustrated by Ben Clanton.
Jasper John Dooley: NOT In Love (Kids Can 2014) $16.95 978-1-55453-803-4. Illustrated by Ben Clanton.
A Simple Case of Angels (Groundwood 2014) $9.95 978-1-55498-430-5
Ellen in Pieces (Patrick Crean / HarperCollins 2014) 978-1443426787 $22.95
Jasper John Dooley: You're in Trouble (Kids Can 2015) $16.95 978-1-55453-808-9. Illustrated by Ben Clanton.
Eat, Leo! Eat! (Kids Can 2015) $18.95 978-1-77138-013-3
Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival (Anvil 2015), co-authored by Caroline Adderson, John Atkin, Kerry Gold, Evelyn Lau, Eve Lazarus, John Mackie, Elise & Stephen Partridge and Bren Simmers. Introduction by Michael Kluckner. Photos by Tracey Ayton and Caroline Adderson. $32.95 978-1-77214-034-7
Jasper John Dooley (Kids Can Press 2016) 978-1-77138-015-7 $16.95
The Mostly True Story of Pudding Tat, Adventuring Cat (Groundwood 2019) $16.95 978-1-55498-964-5. Illustrated by Stacy Innerst.
A Russian Sister (HarperCollins 2020) $24.99 978-1-4434-2681-7

[BCBW 2020]