Dr. Valerie Mason-John is an award-winning writer. Her first novel, Borrowed Body (later re-published as The Banana Kid) won the Mind Book of the Year Award, and was described as the “British Color Purple” by the UK media. She began her writing career as an international correspondent covering Australian aboriginal land rights and black deaths in custody, Sinn Fein prisoners in Northern Ireland, political unrest, education, and the arts. In addition to her award-winning novel, she is the author of four non-fiction books and a collection of poetry, prose and plays, several of which have been produced. She has edited two poetry anthologies and has contributed to several poetry and short story anthologies. Her poetry has been exhibited at all the major galleries in the UK including the National Portrait gallery, and two of her poems are permanent installations in the UK.
Mason-John was born in the UK and trans-racially raised in white orphanages and white foster homes. She is the descendant of slaves from Freetown in Sierra Leone on her biological mother’s side; her biological father’s side are McCarthys, some of whom lived in Nova Scotia during the 1700s and returned to Africa and Caribbean in the 1800s. She has been part of the Canadian community for 5 years, and considers herself a new African- Canadian connecting to her ancestors.www.valeriemason-john.com