Alison was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. She bolted out of town (and country) at the age of seventeen and spent the next twelve years studying, living and travelling throughout Europe, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, the Amazonian regions of Ecuador and Peru, and across Siberia and Mongolia to China.

She is also a memoir writing coach and the creator/facilitator of Memoir Writing Ink, an online program that guides people through the process of transforming personal stories into memoir.

Alison wrote Moments of Glad Grace (2020), a moving and witty memoir of aging, familial love, and the hunt for roots and belonging; Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter (2013), both a memoir (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2013) and a one-woman show directed by Stuart Cox and Catherine Hume; Honeymoon in Purdah (2002), an internationally acclaimed travel memoir; and several Anthologies.

Her books have been nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, selected as an Indigo Top Pick, and become national bestsellers. Her essays and stories have been awarded the National Magazine Award Gold Medal, Western Magazine Award 1st Prize, and been a finalist for the Journey Prize. Her numerous theatre awards include Best Dramatic Script at New York City’s United Solo, the largest festival of solo theatre in the world.

After moving to central Mexico in 2002, Alison shifted her focus to the performing arts, singing, recording and touring with world/folk musicians, and later studying dance and choreography. Together with Shakespearean actor/director Stuart Cox, she created Giving Into Light, a one-woman show combining literary chronicles with music and dance. The show toured across North America from 2009-2012 and won numerous Fringe Festival awards.
Her more recent work, 

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