Irena Karafilly was born in the Urals but crossed several borders while learning to walk, talk, read, and write. She has lived in five countries, most recently in Greece, where her two novels were first published. Daughter of a Jewish father and a Russian Orthodox mother, she speaks several foreign languages badly, swears perfectly in Polish and Greek, and writes in English about beleaguered Greek villagers. She has been largely educated in Canada, the most generous of countries, where the lack of a high-school diploma proved to be no impediment to obtaining three university degrees. While still an undergraduate, Karafilly sold a short story to Bob Weaver at the CBC and has ever since been trying to write a bestseller so she could devote herself full time to her writing. She has worked as a secretary, administrator, editor, businesswoman, journalist, university lecturer, and writer, publishing dozens of poems and stories, while trying to survive as a single mother. Though fame and fortune remain elusive, her work has won several literary prizes, including the National Magazine Award and the CBC Literary Award. Her short stories have been broadcast, anthologized, and published in both commercial and literary magazines, in Canada and abroad. Author of five books, Karafilly has also written book reviews and travel articles, which have appeared in numerous newspapers, including the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. She currently divides her time between Greece and Canada, still looking for Home.
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