Born in Trieste, Italy in 1949, Gunn came to Canada when she was eleven. Before she turned to writing fulltime, Gunn was a musician (bass guitar, piano and vocals) who toured Canada with a variety of bands. She is the author of three novels, three short story collections, two poetry collections and an opera libretto with music by John Oliver. As well, she has translated from Italian two collections of poems, Devour Me Too and Traveling In The Gait by Italian author Dacia Maraini.

See review of Solitaria below.

Genni Gunn's novel Tracing Iris has been made into a film, The Riverbank (2012), starring Kenneth Welsh, Kari Matchett and Rick Roberts.

Hungers is a story collection about vice and the dark side of love. The savage Aztec god Tezcalipoca--who creates anguish by pitting people against one another--presides over many of the characters. Tracks was shortlisted for the Creative Non-Fiction Collective Reader's Choice Award.

Gunn has a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, The Literary Translators Association of Canada, and PEN International. Genni Gunn also wrote the libretto for the opera Alternate Visions (premiere, Montreal, May 1, 2007) about love and modern alienation.

"I guess I've had a love/hate affair with technology for a long time," she writes. "Our wired connections provide a sense of intimacy--we can communicate with everyone globally; we can express ourselves daily in blogs and videos; our private lives can now be lived publicly through television reality shows, through 24-hour views into our spaces in front of our computers.

"But we have become voyeurs, stationary creatures typing our emotions onto keyboards, looking into the cool eyes of digital cameras. While all this appears to have us more connected to everyone, in reality we are more faceless and more alone than ever, our eyes reflecting blue screens, our selves flickering in darkened rooms."

Gunn's works have been finalists for the CBC Literary Awards in all three categories: fiction personal essay and poetry; the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Thrice Upon a Time; the Gerald Lampert Award for poetry collection Mating In Captivity; the Premio Internazionale Diego Valeri for literary translation for poetry collection Traveling in the Gait of a Fox; and the John Glassco Translation Prize for her poetry collection Devour Me Too. She has received two Praxis Film Development Fellowships for her screenplays. Solitaria was nominated for the Giller Prize 2011 and has been translated into Dutch and Italian.

CITY/TOWN: Vancouver


Finalist for the GERALD LAMPERT POETRY AWARD, for Mating in Captivity (1994); THE COMMONWEALTH PRIZE for Best First novel in the Canada/Caribbean Division, for Thrice Upon A Time, 1990; the JOHN GLASSCO TRANSLATION PRIZE, for Devour Me Too (1987); the DIEGO VALERI INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION PRIZE, for Traveling In The Gait of a Fox (2002). Longlisted for the Giller Prize (2011) for Solitaria.


Permanent Tourists (Signature Editions, Oct 2020) story collection $19.95 978-1773240-80-0
Text Me (Signature Editions 2015) Poetry translation
TRACKS: JOURNEYS IN TIME AND PLACE (Signature 2013] memoir
SOLITARIA (Signature 2010) novel
FACELESS (Signature Editions, 2007) poetry $14.95 1-897-109-16-4
HUNGERS (Raincoast Books, 2002) short story collection
TRACING IRIS (Raincoast Books, 2001) novel
MATING IN CAPTIVITY (Quarry Press, 1994) poetry
TRAVELING IN THE GAIT OF A FOX (Quarry Press, 1993) poetry translation
ON THE ROAD (Oberon Press, 1991) short story collection
THRICE UPON A TIME (Quarry Press, 1990) novel
DEVOUR ME TOO (Guernica Editions, 1987) poetry translation

[BCBW 2020] "Movie"