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Rita Donovan was born in Montreal and has lived in Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and Germany. She currently lives in Ottawa with her family, where she writes and teaches. She is the author of seven books, as well as short stories and essays. Her research has taken her from the coalmines of Cape Breton to Harvard University, from northern Minnesota to Florence.
Rita has written three mainstream novels (Dark Jewels, Daisy Circus, Landed), one book of speculative fiction (The Plague Saint), one young adult novel (River Sky Summer), and one non-fiction history book ('As for the Canadians' - The Remarkable Story of the RCAF's 'Guinea Pigs' of World War II.) Rita’s previous work has been critically acclaimed. Dark Jewels was first runner-up (to Nino Ricci) in the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award. It also won the Ottawa-Carleton Book Award. Daisy Circus won the Ottawa-Carleton Book Award. Landed won the CAA/Chapters Book Award and was nominated for the Ottawa Book Award. The Plague Saint was nominated for the James Tiptree Award.
She has taken part in literacy projects for street people, low-paid workers and underemployed adults, bringing pilot projects to shopping malls, community centres and to the street itself. She has done volunteer creative writing therapy with children in mental health facilities and taught remedial classes in writing.
Like most writers, her interests are somewhat eclectic, from fly-fishing to hiking to international cooking. She is presently researching and working on her next novel, as well as teaching online.