About the Author

Photo by Katia Taylor

Taras Grescoe, a non-fiction specialist, writes essays, articles, and books. His work has been translated into a half dozen languages, and has won national and international awards. An expert on transit and urbanism, he also gives keynotes on the theme of sustainable transportation.

He is the author of Sacré Blues, The End of Elsewhere, The Devil's Picnic, Bottomfeeder, Straphanger, and Shanghai Grand. For more on his first three books, please join us in The Bookshelf section of the website.

Taras is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Guardian, and National Geographic Traveler. He has written features for The Wall Street Journal, Gourmet, Saveur, Salon, Wired, the Walrus, the Los Angeles Times, the Independent, Afar, the Globe and Mail, Maclean's, Men's Health, the Chicago Tribune Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the Times of London, and Condé Nast Traveller. He has prowled nocturnally in the footsteps of DalÍ and Buñuel in Toledo, Spain for National Geographic Traveler, eaten bugs at the Insectarium for The Independent, and expounded on French loan words in the New York Times Magazine. His travel essays have been published in several anthologies.

He is a four-time nominee for the Writers' Trust Award for Non-Fiction (which he won in 2008) honouring the best non-fiction book in Canada. He won the Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-Fiction, and is a three-time winner of the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction (awarded by the Quebec Writers' Federation). He has also been a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Outside of Canada, he won the prize for Literary Food Writing from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and was a finalist for the California-based William Saroyan International Prize. His features have won three Canadian National Magazine Awards, two Western Magazine Awards, and his travel writing has been recognized with awards from the Northern Lights Foundation and the North American Association of Travel Journalists.

He has twice been invited to appear at the Edinburgh Book Festival (where he learned to love brown sauce and vegetarian haggis) and has spoken at the Étonnants Voyageurs festival in St. Malo. He was selected to particpate in the fantastic Literary Journalism program at the Banff Centre (where he had his fellow scribes imbibing authentic absinthe from the Val de Travers), and has led seminars on writing from Halifax to Haida Gwaii.

Born in Toronto, raised in Calgary and Vancouver, and schooled in flânerie in Paris, he now lives on an island called Montreal, which can be found at the confluence of the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence Rivers.