Lawrence Hill is a writer whose novels and works of non-fiction have been widely read in Canada, translated into many languages and published around the world. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph.
The manuscript for his new children’s novel, Beatrice and Croc Harry, is with his publisher. He is the author of ten books, including The Illegal, The Book of Negroes and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada.
He is the winner of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His books have won CBC Radio’s Canada Reads twice, and the French equivalent on Radio Canada’s Le Combat des Livres. Hill delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which won 11 Canadian Screen Awards as well as the NAACP Image Award for outstanding writing for television. He served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He has been a volunteer with Book Clubs for Inmates as well as a long-time supporter of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society of Nova Scotia. For more than forty hears, he has been a volunteer with Crossroads International – a non-profit group working with local groups to support community and economic development for girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, he designed and taught an undergraduate memoir-writing course through the Walls to Bridges program at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal penitentiary in Kitchener, Ontario. The course included equal numbers of incarcerated women and traditionally registered university students.
Lawrence Hill is the son of the late human rights activists Daniel and Donna Hill, who co-founded the Ontario Black History Society and who each wrote books about Black history in Canada. For The Globe and Mail in June, 2018, Lawrence wrote “Act of Love,” a long, intimate essay about his mother’s life and about her medically assisted death in Switzerland. The essay contributed to an ongoing national dialogue about medically assisted dying in Canada. Lawrence’s grandfather and father each served as African-Americans in the American Army in the First and Second World Wars, respectively. Currently, he is writing a novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern BC and Yukon in 1942-43. He has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, and is a Member of the Order of Canada.
He lives in Hamilton, ON and in Woody Point, NL.