Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and currently lives with her son in North Burnaby. Lee is a prolific and celebrated writer, editor, teacher, and radio personality who writes in an array of genres, including the literary crime novel, YA fiction, film criticism and poetry. Her first novel, The End of East (Knopf 2007) illuminates the Chinese Canadian story in Vancouver. She followed this with a Young Adult novel, Shelter (Annick Press, 2011), and another for adults, The Better Mother (Knopf, 2011), a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award and praised for its “straight-ahead page-turning brilliance.” Her literary crime novel, The Conjoined (ECW press, 2016), was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and has been praised for its “complex, refreshing and relevant departure” from the expectations of the genre.
Lee’s writing and editing projects also include Chinese New Year; a book of film criticism called Gentlemen Of The Shade: My Own Private Idaho (ECW Press, 2017); and Whatever Gets You Through, a collection of essays by writers who have survived sexual abuse (co-edited with Stacey May Fowles, Greystone Books, 2019). Lee also edits fiction for Wolsak & Wynn, teaches fiction at The Writers’ Studio Online at Simon Fraser University, and co-hosts the literary podcast "Can’t Lit."
And finally, Lee is also a popular CBC Radio personality: she has been a regular contributor on The Next Chapter and Definitely Not the Opera, and a frequent co-host for the Studio One Book Club. In this podcast, Lee reads from The Conjoined as well as her forthcoming collection of poetry, and reflects on the impact of the pandemic on her writing life, the role of art and literature in these times, and must-reads of the moment.