Vincent Lam

Click here to read Vincent Lam in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Vincent Lam, writer, medical doctor (b at London, Ont 5 Sept 1974). Lam’s family is from an expatriate Chinese community in Vietnam. Lam, however, was born in Canada and raised in the country’s capital. While he loved stories and dreamed of being a writer, he enrolled in medical school, realizing he needed life experience. Lam graduated from the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO in 1999. He is an emergency physician at Toronto East General Hospital and a medical lecturer at the University of Toronto. He has also worked on Arctic and Antarctic ships doing expedition medicine and international air evacuation work. While on one of these ships Lam met MargaretATWOOD, who became his writing mentor. In addition, Lam attended the Humber College School for Writers. Lam’s medical mind and flair for writing combine to create precise, sharp literature that is a unique addition to Canadian fiction.

Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (2006), Vincent Lam’s first published book of fiction, won the 2006SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE, making Lam the youngest author to win the prize. A short story collection based on Lam’s experiences while attending medical school, it intertwines black humour, a variety of moral dilemmas, and the reality of practicing medicine in today’s world as it chronicles the lives of four Toronto medical students. In Lam’s provocative and fresh writing, these realistic characters face fear that threatens to cripple them and love that has the power to destroy. Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures was a finalist for the US Story Prize, and was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, the Danuta Gleed Literary Awards and the CBA Libris Awards. Lam was also shortlisted as artist of the year for the CBA Libris Awards in 2007. Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is also a television series, adapted by Shaftesbury Films. It premiered on HBO Canada 10 January 2010.

Vincent Lam is working on his first novel, Cholon, Near Forgotten. It is inspired in part by Lam’s travels to Vietnam, where he researched and reconnected with family.

In addition to his fictional work Lam works on a range of non-fiction: he is co-author of a survival guide to dealing with the spread of H1N1 influenza and its surrounding hype, The Flu Pandemic and You (2006). He has published various magazine articles, and was the 2007 National Magazine Gold Award winner for his article “The Best Medicine.” He is also working on a biography of Tommy DOUGLAS.

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