Born in Vancouver in 1959, she has lived in Toronto, New York and the Okanagan Valley. She currently lives in Vancouver, with her husband, political consultant Bob Penner. They have two children.
Lambert's writing has appeared in many prominent periodicals and literary journals including Ploughshares, Zoetrope: All-Story, Toronto Life and The Walrus. Her stories have been chosen three times for Best Canadian Stories, published by Oberon Press, and been anthologized in The Journey Prize Anthology. Her first book, a collection of short stories titled The Falling Woman. was published to widespread critical acclaim. The Hamilton Spectator wrote of The Falling Woman: "In Shaena Lambert we have a writer with the ability to layer experience so that one layer comments on another, a writer with Alice Munro's understanding of the human heart and Yann Martel's gift for inhabiting the minds of vastly different characters." The Falling Woman was a finalist for The Danuta Gleed Award and was chosen as a Globe and Mail best book for 2002.
Lambert's novel, Radiance, was published in 2007 by Random House Canada, and by Virago press in the U.K, again meeting with critical acclaim, and comparisons to Canadian writers Alice Munro and Carol Shields. Radiance tells the story of Hiroshima survivor named Keiko Kitigawa, who travels to the U.S. from Japan after the end of World War II, and the complex relationship she has with a Long Island housewife. Radiance was nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2007; the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2008; and was a Globe and Mail Best Book.
Shaena Lambert's book of stories, Oh, My Darling, was published by HarperCollins Canada in 2013.
- Lambert, Shaena (2002). Radiance. Toronto, Ontario: Vintage Canada Edition.
- German translation by Monika Schmalz: Die fallende Frau, Berliner Taschenbuch Verlag, 2003
- Lambert, Shaena (2007). Radiance. Toronto, Ontario: Vintage Canada Edition.
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