Caroline Adderson was born and raised in Alberta. After high school, she joined the youth program Katimavik and spent a year living in different communities across Canada doing volunteer work: carpentry, radio broadcasting, sheep farming. She then settled in Vancouver where she attended the University of British Columbia, earning a Bachelor of Education with a Concentration in Creative Writing. Over the next ten years she worked as an ESL teacher.
Her first collection of stories, Bad Imaginings, was published in 1993; stories from it have appeared in 19 anthologies world-wide. She has gone on to write internationally published novels (A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky Is Falling, Ellen in Pieces, A Russian Sister), another collection of short stories (Pleased To Meet You), many books for young readers.
Caroline is also the editor and co-contributor of a non-fiction book of essays and photographs, Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival and guest editor of Best Canadian Stories 2019. Her work has received numerous award nominations including the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. In 2017, she was a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Arts, Culture and Design nominee. Her awards include three BC Book Prizes, three CBC Literary Awards, the Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement, and a National Magazine Award Gold Medal for Fiction. She teaches in the Writing and Publishing Program at SFU and is the Program Director of the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, the filmmaker Bruce Sweeney.