Joan Thomas

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Joan Thomas
Joan Thomas, author photo.jpg
Occupation novelist
Nationality Canadian
Genre fiction
Notable works Reading by Lightning, Curiosity, The Opening Sky
Joan Thomas on Bookbits radio.

Joan Thomas is a Canadian novelist and book reviewer, whose debut novel Reading By Lightning won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Canada/Caribbean)[1] as well as the First Novel Award. Her second novel, Curiosity was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Both novels were longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Thomas, based in Winnipeg,[2] previously worked as a freelance journalist and book reviewer for The Globe and Mail, the Winnipeg Free Press and Prairie Fire, and as a book editor for Turnstone Press. She won a National Magazine Award in 1996 for her journalism.[3]

Her third novel The Opening Sky (2014) was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction, the Carol Shields Book Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. It won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and was named a CBC book of the year.

In 2014, Thomas was awarded the Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award for a mid-career writer.[4]




  1. ^ "Western Canadian writers capture Commonwealth book awards"., March 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Woods, S. (2009, September 24). Joan Thomas Takes Amazon Award. Quill & Quire
  3. ^ "Somewhere in the memory of the universe" in Prairie Fire vol. 16 no. 3. Autumn, 1995.
  4. ^ "Miriam Toews wins $25,000 Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize". Toronto Star, November 4, 2014.