About me

“…something precious unravelled a little at each step.”

Warp and Weft, The Tishman Review (Vol 4/2)

I write about brokenness and beauty in people and relationships—the flawed, the unfinished, the transitory—and the glimmers of light that shine through the cracks and illuminate human lives. I’m observant as hell, and I write truth, unvarnished, the way I see it.

Readers describe my fiction as character-driven, stoked by mischief, alive with a sly awareness. In creative nonfiction I explore hybrid forms including lyrical and visual essays, prose poems, and short-form memoir. Themes of particular interest to me include family dynamics, mother-daughter relationships, and the effects of physical and psychological trauma on the shape of a life. To these subjects I bring deep attention and lucid, sensory writing that aims to connect with my readers through our shared human experience.

My work has been published in literary journals and anthology in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. I was a finalist in the Writers’ Union of Canada‘s 25th Annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers and received an honourable mention in the 44th New Millennium Writing Awards. I am currently at work on a collection of short stories about a family living in a tin shed and a caravan on the outskirts of an Australian country town.

Born in Sydney, Australia, I spent part of my childhood living in a hundred acres of rainforest where, instead of attending school, I read books and roamed the bush, my pockets bulging with baby potatoes and a box of matches. On long walks I built small fires, roasting my potatoes in the ashes and rolling them out with sticks when they were done. The smell of woodsmoke and the taste of charcoal still transport me back to that time of perfect freedom.

Home, to me, is far more complex than a point on a map; it’s a locus within, not without. I’ve lived in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada. Toronto is where I write now.

deborah-elderhorst-writer