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  • Welcome to the website of Montreal writer, journalist, editor, and lecturer Elaine Kalman Naves. Elaine was born in Hungary, and grew up in Budapest, London, and Montreal. For many years she was literary columnist for the Montreal Gazette, and is the author of eight books. Among them are the award-winning memoirs Journey to Vaja: Reconstructing the World of a Hungarian-Jewish Family and Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter, and the Shadows of History. Elaine's other books include: The Writers of Montreal; Putting Down Roots: Montreal's Immigrant Writers; Storied Streets: Montreal in the Literary Imagination (co-written with Bryan Demchinsky); and Robert Weaver: Godfather of Canadian Literature. Elaine has contributed frequently to CBC Radio's Ideas, where her most recent project was about the great 19th-century Montreal photographer, William Notman. Her 2013 book, Portrait of a Scandal: The Abortion Trial of Robert Notman, shed light on a secret page in Canadian history. The Book of Faith, Elaine’s first novel, was nominated for the 2016 Leacock Prize for Humour. Elaine's other honours include a Canadian Literary Award for Personal Essay, two Quebec Writers' Federation prizes for non-fiction, and two Jewish Book Awards for Holocaust Literature.

    Elaine has led workshops in creative writing at the Quebec Writers’ Federation since their inception in 1998, and mentors emerging writers both through the QWF mentorship program and privately. Her workshop students at the QWF have included authors of critically acclaimed works, among them Susan Pinker, Susan Doherty, Lise Weil, and Janet Torge. Two of her private students – Rosalind Pepall and Dr. Judy Stone – will publish books this year that they worked on with Elaine.