Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She’s had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, while this very column earned her a Digital Publishing Award nomination in 2023. She is the author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground (Penguin Random House, 2019) as well as the upcoming novel, And Then She Fell (Penguin Random House, 2023).

Latest from Alicia Elliott


A mother's love is supposed to be unconditional. What happens when it's not?

Ainslie Hogarth's novel Motherthing makes a horror story out of maternal wounds and intergenerational cycles. And for writer Alicia Elliott, reading it hit close to home.

Does art about abuse need to make us comfortable?

Liz Harmer's novel Strange Loops calls to mind another recent work whose depiction of abuse was misunderstood by some audiences: Todd Field's 2022 film Tár.

This novel asks us to confront the darkest parts of ourselves — and to forgive

A story of forbidden love between two queer Syrian refugees, Danny Ramadan's The Foghorn Echoes asks what it means to truly hold ourselves accountable and find healing.

Who does power truly belong to? This book digs into the layers of an abusive relationship to find out

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English, Noor Naga's Giller Prize-nominated novel, asks the reader to confront their ideas of morality and control.
Point of View

The monsters they made us: How the horror genre positions young female desire

In Interview with the Vampire and Ginger Snaps, men destroy the innocence of teenage girls — and then let them take the blame for the bloodshed that follows.

Why the Griffin Poetry Prize combining its awards is bad news for Canadian poets

The move takes away a rare opportunity for visibility and economic stability that was once guaranteed to Canadian poets, argues writer Alicia Elliott.

Black and Indigenous liberation are forever linked. It's time to build a new world

Alicia Elliott traces the shared struggle from its roots in the Doctrine of Discovery through to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard's book Rehearsals for Living.

If memories are just stories we tell ourselves, how can we write our lives?

Fawn Parker's new novel What We Both Know shows why it's so hard to write the truth while trying to work through past traumas.

This new book vividly captures the time distortion and grief we've all been feeling

Sheila Heti's Pure Colour steps out of the five stages of grief and into what's been called the sixth: meaning.

The case FOR the trauma plot? How writers can use it with purpose and care

It's been criticized for being used as a "shortcut," but it can actually offer something essential to its audience.