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Caroline Adderson was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1963. After finishing high school, she entered Katimavik, a Canadian youth volunteer-service program, and travelled across Canada, partaking in such activities as working on a sheep farm and building log cabins on a reservation. Adderson completed an education degree at UBC in 1986, and a year later she settled in Vancouver and started teaching ESL. She has spent most of her adult life in Vancouver, B.C., but has also lived for brief periods in New Orleans and Toronto. Her first book of short fiction, <i>Bad Imaginings</i> (1993) won the 1994 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for the 1993 Governor Generals Award and Commonwealth Book Prize, and in audio format the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) Talking Book of the Year. These stories have since appeared in many anthologies and have been broadcast and adapted for radio.
Her first novel, <i>A History of Forgetting</i> (1999) was nominated for the 2000 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the 2000 Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize.
Her second novel, <i>Sitting Practice</i> (2003) was shortlisted for the VanCity Book Prize for best book pertaining to women's issues by a B.C. author as well as the City of Vancouver Book Award. It won the 2004 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.
Her works of fiction and non-fiction have been widely published in literary magazines and newspapers. One story, "Oil and Dread", was selected by the <i>Journey Prize Anthology 5</i>. She has three times won prizes in the CBC literary competition. She has had radio plays broadcast on CBC Radio's <i>Morningside</i> and <i>Sunday Showcase</i>, amongst other radio broadcasts.
Her feature-length screenplay <i>Tokyo Cowboy</i> (1994) was the co-winner of the Federal Express Award for Most Popular Canadian Film at the 1994 Vancouver International Film Festival.
Adderson's recent publication <i>Pleased to Meet You</i> (2006), a collection of short fiction, was longlisted for the Giller Prize.
Some of the themes Adderson poignantly illuminates in her work include the endurement of grief and pain in different forms and contexts, the construction and power of memory and its connection to history and freedom, essences, physical movement through time and space, interconnectedness, sexuality, love, and longing.
She is married to film director Bruce Sweeney, and has one son, Patrick