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Ann Shin


Ann Shin grew up on a mushroom farm in Langley, B.C. She now lives in Toronto and works as a filmmaker, writer, and radio producer. She directed two documentary films for the National Film Board of Canada: Western Eyes (2000) and Almost Real: Connecting in a Wired World (2003). Shin also directed The Roswell Incident, winner of a Bronze Award at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, for History Television. Her film, Four Seasons: A Mosaic, was nominated for a 2006 Gemini for Best Performance documentary. Her 2014 documentary The Defector: Escape From North Korea won multiple Canadian Screen Awards. Her 2016 documentary My Enemy, My Brother was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination and nominated for an Emmy Award.


The Family China

London, Ont.: Brick Books, 2013.
PS8587 .H5514 F36 2013

Publisher’s Synopsis (From it’s website)

In The Family China, her second book of poems, Ann Shin examines the decentering experiences of migration, loss and death, and the impulse to build anew. In five suites threaded through with footnote-like fragments that haunt and ambush the text like memories, the book accrues associations, building and transforming images from poem to poem, creating a layered and cohesive collection that asks daring questions about how we define ourselves.

Awards and Honours

2013 Anne Green Award (Winner)
2014 ReLit Awards, Poetry (Shortlist)



The Last Thing Standing

Toronto: Mansfield Press, 2000.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From it’s website)

In The Last Thing Standing, Shin pulls away floors and ceilings in a thoughtful meditation on the concept of home.
From the many lives contained within four walls of a house, to the mortar and beams that keep it standing, she is a telling witness to the love, anger and poignant solitudes that form the spaces we inhabit and make our own.

Anthology (Poetry)

Crossroads Cant

Poems by Mary Elizabeth Grace, Mark Seabrook, Shafiq, and Ann Shin.
Edited by Joe Blades.
Fredericton, N.B.: Broken Jaw Press, 1998.
PS8279 .C76 1997


Han Kut: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Canadian Women

Edited by the Korean Canadian Anthology Collective.
Toronto: Inanna Publications and Eduation, 2007.
PS8235 .K67 H36 2007

Includes Ann Shin’s “Learning to Walk”, and, “Korean Drummers.”


The Last Exiles

Toronto: Park Row Books, 2021.
PS8587.H5514 L37 2021

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Jin and Suja meet and fall in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She is a young journalist from a prominent family, while he is from a small village of little means. Outside the school, North Korea has fallen under great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, miles away, Suja has begun to feel the tenuousness of her privilege when she learns that Jin has disappeared. Risking everything, and defying her family, Suja sets out to find him, embarking on a dangerous journey that leads her into a dark criminal underbelly and tests their love and will to survive.

In this vivid and moving story, award-winning filmmaker Ann Shin offers a rare glimpse at life inside the guarded walls of North Korea and the harrowing experiences of those who are daring enough to attempt escape. Inspired by real stories of incredible bravery, The Last Exiles is a stunning debut about love, sacrifice and the price of liberty.

Awards and Honours

2022 Trillium Book Award (Winner)


Ann Shin personal website

Publisher Brick Books

Publisher Inanna Publications

Publisher Mansfield Press

Publisher Park Row Books, an imprint of Harlequin Trade Publishing

National Film Board of Canada website that includes the complete film Almost Real.

Shin and Fathom Film Group