Shain was born in Toronto, and graduated from the University of Toronto, with a BA (1957) and BSW (1959).
As a journalist, Shain worked as a feature writer for the Toronto Telegram, as an associate editor of the magazine Chatelaine, and as a columnist for the Toronto Sun. Shain also worked as a television presenter, hosting the CTV news program W5. For four years, she was a member of the board of the National Film Board of Canada.
Her books included Some Men Are More Perfect Than Others, When Lovers Are Friends, Hearts That We Broke Long Ago, and Courage My Love.
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