Evelyn Lau

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Evelyn Lau (born 2 July 1971) is a Canadian poet and novelist.

Lau was born in Vancouver, British Columbia to Chinese-Canadian parents, who intended for her to eventually become a doctor. Her parents' ambitions for her were wholly irreconcilable with her own and her family and school lives were generally unhappy.

In 1985, at age 14, Lau left home and spent the next several years living itinerantly in Vancouver as a homeless person, mainly sleeping in shelters, homes and on the street and often supporting herself by selling her body to much older men. Despite the chaos of her first two years' independence she submitted a great deal of poetry to journals and received some recognition. A diary she kept at the time was published in 1989 as Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. The book was a critical and commercial success. Topics and individuals discussed in the book include some of Lau's various relationships with manipulative older men, the life and habits of a group of anarchists with whom she stayed immediately after leaving home, Lau's experiences with a couple from Boston who smuggled her into the United States, her abuse of various drugs, and her relationship with British Columbia's child support services. The film The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1993) starred Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh.

Lau had a well-publicized romantic relationship with University of Victoria creative writing professor and author W. P. Kinsella which led to the filing of a libel case against her.

She currently lives in Vancouver.


  • 1 Bibliography
    • 1.1 Memoirs
    • 1.2 Poetry
    • 1.3 Short stories
    • 1.4 Novels
  • 2 External links



  • Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid - 1989
  • Inside Out: Reflection on a Life So Far - 2001


  • You Are Not Who You Claim - 1990
  • Oedipal Dreams - 1992 (nominated for a Governor General's Award)
  • In the House of Slaves - 1994
  • Treble - 2005

Short stories

  • Fresh Girls and Other Stories - 1993
  • Choose Me - 1999


  • Other Women - 1995
  • 2004 interview with Lau
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