Lauren Carter is the author of the short story collection Places Like These, a Globe & Mail recommended read in Spring 2023, and four previous books of fiction and poetry, including This Has Nothing to Do with You, winner of the 2020 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, and her debut novel, Swarm, was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Carter’s stories, poems, and journalism has been published in a wide variety of periodicals and longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes. Her short story “Rhubarb” won the Prairie Fire Fiction Award and was included in Best Canadian Stories in 2015. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and regularly teaches creative writing and organizes writing retreats.
2020 - Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Manitoba Book Award received for This Has Nothing To Do With You
2020 - John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer
Manitoba Book Award
Places Like These
A widow visits a spiritualist community to attempt to contact her late husband. A grieving teenager confronts the unfairness of his small-town world and the oncoming ecological disaster. A sexual assault survivor navigates her boyfriend’s tricky family and her own confusing desires. A mother examines unresolved guilt while seeking her missing daughter in a city slum. A lover exploits his girlfriend’s secrets for his own purposes. Whether in Ecuador or San Francisco, rural Ontario or northern Manitoba, the landscape in each of Carter’s poignant short stories reflects each character’s journey. Psychologically complex and astute, Places Like These plumbs the vast range of human reactions to those things which make us human—love, grief, friendship, betrayal, and the intertwined yet contrasting longing for connection and independence.
This Has Nothing To Do With You
When Melony Barnett’s mother commits a violent murder, Mel is left struggling with the loss of her parents and her future. For more than two years, she drifts around the continent, trying to carve out a life that has nothing to do with her past, before returning to her Northern Ontario home and adopting a rescue dog–a mastiff with a tragic history. As she struggles to help the dog heal and repair her relationship with her brother, Matt, she begins to uncover layers of secrets about her family –secrets that were the fuel for her mother’s actions. This Has Nothing to Do With You is a compulsively readable novel that follows a dynamic cast of characters, revealing the complexity of the bonds that are formed through trauma and grief–with siblings, lovers, friends, and dogs.
Spanning almost two hundred years, Following Sea finds anchor in the submerged regions of the heart. With great care, Lauren Carter wades into family histories and geography, all the while charting her own territories. Carried by the ebb and flow of language, Carter’s second collection explores issues of infertility, identity, and settler migration, offering a tender examination of home. Urgent and intimate, Following Sea leads us along the shoreline of Carter’s Manitoulin memories to show us what she has carried up from the depths.
In the not-too-distant future, thirty-seven-year-old Sandy lives a challenging and unfamiliar life. She survives by fishing, farming, and beekeeping on an isolated island with her partner, Marvin, and friend, Thomson. When the footprints of a thieving child start appearing in their garden, the family must come together to protect both the child and their fragile community. In the face of scarcity, Sandy still dreams of being a mother. The thought of a child compels her to revisit her earlier life in a city plagued by power outages, unemployment, and protests. There she met Marvin and joined his violent cause, initiating a chain of events that led to tragic and life-altering consequences. A powerful debut novel, Swarm is about persevering in a time of shrinking options, and coming to terms with regrettable choices.