Madeleine Thien

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Madeleine Thien
Madeleine Thien in Bonn, Germany, 2015, interviewed by Dietmar Kanthak
Born Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian

Madeleine Thien (born 1974) is a Canadian short story writer and novelist.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she was educated at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Thien was a finalist for Writers' Trust of Canada's RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 1999, and in 2001 she was awarded the Canadian Authors Association Air Canada Award for most promising Canadian writer under age 30.

Thien's first book, Simple Recipes (Toronto: M&S, 2001; New York: Little, Brown, 2002), a collection of short stories, won the City of Vancouver Book Award, the VanCity Book Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It received the praise of Nobel Prize laureate Alice Munro, who wrote, "This is surely the debut of a splendid writer. I am astonished by the clarity and ease of the writing, and a kind of emotional purity."[1]

Her novel, Certainty (Toronto: M&S, 2006; New York: Little, Brown, 2007; London: Faber, 2007), has been published internationally and translated into 16 languages.[2] It won the in Canada First Novel Award, the Ovid Festival Prize[3] and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize[4] for Fiction.

Her second novel, Dogs at the Perimeter (Toronto: M&S, 2011; London: Granta Books, 2012) was a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the 2014 International Literature Award - Haus der Kulturen der Welt.[5] The novel won the 2015 de:LiBeraturpreis, awarded by the Frankfurt Book Fair and recognizing works of fiction from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.[6] The novel, about the aftermath of the Cambodian genocide,[7] has been translated into 8 languages.

In 2008, she was invited to participate in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2013, Thien was the Simon Fraser University Writer-in-Residence. She is part of the International Faculty in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at City University of Hong Kong.[8]

Her short story, "The Wedding Cake", was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the richest prize in the world for a single short story.[9]


  • Simple Recipes — 2001
  • The Chinese Violin — 2002
  • Certainty — 2006
  • Dogs at the Perimeter - 2011

External links[edit]


  1. ^
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  5. ^ International Literature Award
  6. ^ Kandidatinnen für den LiBeraturpreis 2015 stehen fest
  7. ^
  8. ^ Thien, M.; Jacobsen, S.D. (22 February 2014). "Madeleine Thien: Writer-in-Residence, Simon Fraser University". In-Sight (3.A): 25–33. 
  9. ^ "British Newcomer Vies With International Literary Names For Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award". The Sunday Times. 1 February 2015.