Heather O'Neill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Heather O'Neill
Born Montreal, Quebec
Occupation writer
Education McGill University
Notable works Lullabies for Little Criminals
Children 1

Heather O'Neill (born 1973)[1] is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist, who published her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, in 2006. The novel was subsequently selected for the 2007 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by singer-songwriter John K. Samson. Lullabies won the competition. The book also won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for eight other major awards, including the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Governor General's Award and was longlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.[2]

Lullabies for Little Criminals was a publishing sensation in Canada and went on to become an international bestseller. She was named by Chatelaine as one of the most influential women in Canada.


O’Neill was born in Montreal. Although her father is from Montreal, her mother is of Southern American descent. O’Neill spent the first part of her childhood in Montreal. After her parents’ divorce, she lived in the American South with her mother for several years before returning to Montreal to live with her father. She has lived in Montreal ever since. She was educated at Dawson College and McGill University. She has one daughter named Arizona.[3]


O'Neill published her debut novel Lullabies for Little Criminals in 2006 and it immediately became a bestseller.

She published her second novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night in 2014. It was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize.[4] It was also nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction[5] and the Encore Award.

Her short story collection Daydreams of Angels was published in 2015,[6] and is longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.[7]

She has made contributions to The New York Times Magazine, This American Life, CBC Radio, Rookie Magazine, Elle, Chatelaine, the National Post, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She has also contributed to a magazine called The Walrus where you can find some other of her short stories,such as one short story where she wrote a prequel like story to Lullabies for little criminals.

Awards for Heather O'Neill[edit]


  • two eyes are you sleeping poems (1999)
  • Lullabies for Little Criminals novel (2006)

Other work[edit]

O'Neill wrote the screenplay for the 2000 film St. Jude, directed by John L'Ecuyer and starring Liane Balaban and Nicholas Campbell. It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

O'Neill has written a book of poetry entitled two eyes are you sleeping.

Her 2008 short story "The End of Pinky" was adapted as a 2013 animated short of the same name, with O'Neill providing English narration.[9] In December 2013, it was named to the Toronto International Film Festival's annual top ten list, in the short film category.[10]


  1. ^ "Chatelaine". 
  2. ^ "Damien Echols, Stephen King, Larry McMurtry, Lisa See, & More". Library Journal, December 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Stoffman, Judy (December 13, 2006). "Lyrical Lullabies; Heather O'Neill's first novel, inspired by her hardscrabble childhood, draws raves;". Entertainment (The Toronto Star). pp. D.4. 
  4. ^ "Heather O’Neill, Miriam Toews among six Giller Prize finalists". Quill & Quire, October 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Guardian". guardian.ca. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The 50 most anticipated books of 2015 (the first half, anyway)". The Globe and Mail, January 2, 2015.
  7. ^ The Scotiabank Giller Prize Presents Its 2015 Longlist
  8. ^ "CBC". cbc.ca. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ Leighton, Heather (9 September 2013). "The End of Pinky to premiere at TIFF". The Rover. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "TIFF's Top 10 films of 2013 taps Enemy, The F Word, Gabrielle". CBC News. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.