Evelyn Lau, poet, short-story writer, novelist (b at Vancouver 2 July 1971). An award-winning student, Evelyn Lau's first work was published when she was in her early teens. Parental objections to her choice of pursuing a career as a writer led her to run away at age 14. She spent 2 years on the streets of Vancouver, during which time she twice attempted suicide and became involved in prostitution and drug abuse. At 17, Lau recorded her experiences in her first book, the bestselling Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid (1989), later made into a CBC movie called The Diary of Evelyn Lau. Similar territory is covered in her first collection of poetry, You Are Not Who You Claim (1990), recipient of the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. A second memoir, Inside Out, was published in 2001.
Like much of her poetry, Lau's short fiction, Fresh Girls and Other Stories (1993) and Choose Me (1999), depicts a dark world of sexual obsession, dominance and dependency. Lau's novel Other Women (1995) recounts a young artist's unconsummated love affair with an older married man, and its aftermath. In 1992, Lau became the youngest poet ever to receive a Governor General's Award nomination, for Oedipal Dreams. She has published two subsequent collections of poetry, In the House of Slaves (1994) and Treble (2005).