Aritha van Herk was born in central Alberta and spent the first eighteen years of her life on a farm in the parkland. She then studied at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, and rose to international literary prominence in 1978 with the publication of Judith, which received the Seal First Novel Award and which was published in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Her subsequent books include The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey, Places Far From Ellesmere, and Restlessness. Her essays are collected in In Visible Ink and A Frozen Tongue. Both her creative and critical writing has been widely published, and her work has been translated into ten languages.
Aritha van Herk is a Professor of Canadian Literature and Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She has lived in Edmonton, Vancouver, Australia and Spain, but finds that Calgary suits her best.