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Faculty Profiles

Thea Lim

Thea  Lim


Thea Lim is a Professor of Creative Writing in the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her 2018 novel An Ocean of Minutes was nominated for the Giller Prize, released across the world and in multiple languages, and has been optioned for a TV series. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and she has received multiple awards and fellowships for her work, including artists’ grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, and the Inprint/Barthelme Memorial Fellowship in Nonfiction. Her first novel, The Same Woman, was released by Invisible Publishing in 2007.

While she is primarily a fiction writer, she moonlights in creative nonfiction, in both writing and editing. Her narrative nonfiction has been published by Salon, the Southampton Review, and Grist Journal, and her short-form writing on race, gender, pop culture and literature has been published widely, by outlets such as the Paris Review, the Guardian, Bitch MagazineLitHub and Electric Literature, and reprinted in textbooks such as The World is a Text and Canadian Content. She served on the editorial boards of Gulf Coast,, and Shameless Magazine, and she thinks it is a grand idea for any writer to sit on the other side of the editorial desk, and learn how the sausage is made.

She has taught writing to writers of every stripe, from college students to engineers to chefs to autoworkers. She strongly believes that writing is like any art and any science, with techniques and principles that can be shared and learned, and she will gladly (verbally) spar with anyone who argues that you can’t be taught to write. She is happiest in a classroom where a broad mix of experiences enriches everyone’s ability to be an artist, an archivist of human life.

She grew up in Singapore and lives in Toronto, and despite the fact that she is a creative professional, she named her cat “Kitty.”