New Brunswick Author Portal

Carla  Gunn
Categories: Female AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsNovelistsAuthors of Young Adult LiteratureMiramichi River


I currently live in Fredericton with my partner, my two sons and four furry companions. I grew up in a rural area, Boom Road, in Miramichi, N.B. and graduated from North and South Esk Regional High School in Sunny Corner. I then attended University of New Brunswick where I completed a Bachelor and Masters of Arts, both in psychology. In addition to freelance and creative writing, I consult in the area of workplace issues and teach psychology courses at University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

I grew up in a rural area with the river across the road and a field which bordered a deep, dark forest in the backyard. We had dogs, cats, a pony and chickens. My grandparents had cows and poultry and were organic (common sense) farmers. We used to pick beetles off potato plants by hand and plop them into little pans of kerosene. As such, my writing – which tends to focus on the environment - is most definitely affected by my childhood. I feel most at home in nature and least comfortable in manufactured sorts of landscapes. (In a mall, for instance, I feel profoundly lonely and disconnected. I've often wondered how common that experience is.) In recent years, as New Brunswick governments have become increasingly neo-liberal, I find I am often at odds with this drive toward viewing nature as a commodity to be economically exploited. This provides much fodder for writing and I find myself compelled to continue to write about this form of insanity.

What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?

I’d have to say it’s Nights Below Station Street by David Adams Richards. I read this novel when I was eighteen and it has stuck with me for all these years. It has a very strong narrative voice and I’m drawn to those sorts of novels.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

Hmm… that’s a tough one. I think it was the day I received a box full of copies of my novel, hot off the press. Books are amazing things – they give bodily form to thoughts and ideas and emotions. They transport us from one place or space to another and back again. They allow us to escape from our lives or to consider them in fresh new ways. They comfort and discomfort, placate and incite. The day the courier handed me that box, it really struck me that my work is part of this wonderful, centuries old practice that is so much a core part of human culture.

Literary Prizes

Shortlisted, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and Caribbean Region) for Best First Book - 2009 In recognition of: Amphibian
Canada Council for the Arts Creation Grants
New Brunswick Arts Council Creation Grants

Featured Publication


Then I wondered how long humans can live without brains that work like they should. I read in a book that the reason cockroaches can live for a week without their heads is because they have brains in their bodies too. But they die after a week because they can’t eat without heads. I figure humans can live a long, long time with brains that only partly work as long as they can eat and move. I figure they’ll just keep on doing the things that make them feel good – until they finally completely destroy the planet.

Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author