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Mona Awad is a Canadian novelist and short-story writer.[1] Her debut book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, a novel (structured using linked short stories) about a woman's lifelong struggle with body image issues,[2] won the First Novel Award[3] and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.[4] She was inspired to write the book because of her own experiences growing up and struggling with her own body image.[5] In the Los Angeles Times, Awad has been quoted as saying, she "made [music] playlists for every chapter" in 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl because it helped her "immerse" herself in the story, helping her to better "access it." [6]

Mona Awad
Born (1978-08-22) August 22, 1978 (age 40)
Montreal, Quebec
Occupationnovelist, short stories
Notable works13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and Bunny

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, she spent her teen years in Mississauga, Ontario,[1] then studied English literature at York University and went on to earn a masters in English at the University of Edinburgh, an MFA at Brown University,[1] and a PhD at the University of Denver.[7] Her short fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in magazines including McSweeney's, The Walrus, Joyland, Post Road, St. Petersburg Review, and Maisonneuve. When Awad began writing as a columnist for Maisonneuve, she used the pseudonym Veronica Tartley.

Awad desires for her stories to provide readers with "a sense of connection" so that "people [may] feel less alone."[8]

In 2017, Awad's short story Woman Causes Avalanche[9] was published by the L.A. Review of Books.

Her next novel, Bunny, was published in June, 2019, by Viking Press.[10]

She has lived in the US since 2009, currently in Boston.


  1. ^ a b c "Mona Awad gives us 13 ways to look at 'fat girls'". Toronto Star, February 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Review: Mona Awad’s 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl is beautifully told and profoundly sensitive". The Globe and Mail, February 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Mona Awad wins First Novel Award". CBC Books, May 26, 2016.
  4. ^ "Thien, Barwin, Donoghue make Giller Prize shortlist ". The Globe and Mail, September 26, 2016.
  5. ^ "Mona Awad Wants You to Confront the Word "Fat"". ELLE. 2016-02-24. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  6. ^ Graham, By Latria. "Mona Awad on her sharp-voiced debut, '13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl'". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  7. ^ "Mona Awad wins First Novel Award: ‘When I was writing the book, frankly, I never thought it would see the light of day’". The Globe and Mail, May 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "We Do Adjust Our Reality for Other People: An Interview with Mona Awad". Electric Literature. 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  9. ^ "LARB Lit: Woman Causes Avalanche - Los Angeles Review of Books". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  10. ^ "28 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2019". CBC Books, January 25, 2019.

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