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Leah McLaren (born November 7, 1975) is a Canadian author and newspaper columnist.
Born in Peterborough, Ontario, McLaren attended Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto. She studied English literature at McGill University in Montreal, and Trent University in Peterborough, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the latter in 1998. While at Trent she wrote the radio drama Percy and the Pomegranate.
When she was eighteen, McLaren worked as an intern and wrote a feature article for the Canadian monthly This Magazine. After several summers as an intern at The Globe and Mail (the national newspaper at which her mother – Cecily Ross – was an editor at the time) McLaren became an arts reporter, and then the newspaper's London arts correspondent. While in England, her writing was published in several newspapers including The Times, The Evening Standard, and The Sunday Telegraph, as well as in the weekly magazine The Spectator, for which she wrote a controversial and widely read cover story on the romantic failure of the modern English male. In 2008, the CBC shot Abroad, a television movie of the week, written and produced by McLaren and based on her experiences as a young Canadian newspaper reporter living and dating in London. It aired once, on March 14, 2010 and was being developed as a series; until CBC Television axed it before any other episodes were made.
McLaren was best known for her regular Saturday column in the Life section of The Globe and Mail, in which she talks about living as a single woman in modern-day Toronto. She now writes a column in the Arts section. She also writes "The Leah Files", a monthly column in Flare, Canada's top-selling fashion magazine. She has written for other publications including Toronto Life, McGill Daily, ROB, Fashion, and EnRoute.
McLaren's first novel, The Continuity Girl was published by Harper Collins in 2005. It follows a young film professional — the titular "continuity girl" — in her search for a perfect — and unsuspecting — man to father her child. She is currently at work on her second novel for HarperCollins.