ERNA PARIS is the author of seven acclaimed works of literary non-fiction and the winner of twelve national and international writing awards for her books, feature writing, and radio documentaries. Her works have been published in fourteen countries and translated into eight languages. Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History was chosen as one of “The Hundred Most Important Books Ever Written in Canada” by the Literary Review of Canada. In May 2007 Long Shadows inspired the Canadian House of Commons motion to apologize, on behalf of the government, to survivors of Canadian residential schools. In June 2002 it inspired a resolution in the United States House of Representatives to create a monument to American slaves on the Washington Mall. (For more information, please see Awards and Honours.)


Her most recent work, The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice was first on The Globe and Mail's “best book of the year” list and shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.


Erna is a member of the Honorary Council of the Canadian Centre for International Justice; a member of the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch; a vice-president (2014) of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and a past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. In 2012, Erna was awarded the World Federalist Movement – Canada World Peace Award.


TOLERANCE-magFrom Tolerance To Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain, Cormorant Books

In-stores January 19, 2015

Erna is happy to announce the publication of From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain,an updated edition of her 1995 best-selling, award-winning book, The End of Days. The story of how medieval Europe’s most vibrant multicultural society became its least tolerant, with an Inquisition to purify the faith and two ethnic expulsions, continues to resonate powerfully in the first decades of the 21st century.

A one-hour documentary on the book will be broadcast January 21, 2015 on CBC radio IDEAS

Pre-order at Indigo

Visit Cormorant Books

At long last, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History will soon be a Random House of Canada e-book. On sale by the end of December, 2014.

Thursday, Dec. 11 2014, The Globe and Mail

The early 20th century Shakespeare scholar, A.C. Bradley, argued that the tragic hero must possess an inner flaw which will become the inevitable source of his failure. The higher his worldly status, the more poignant his downfall. This week, 100 years later, the member states that make up the International Criminal Court and oversee its administration are meeting in New York. They are discussing the budget, electing new judges, instituting mechanisms for paying reparations to victims, and inaugurating a policy on sexual and gender-based crimes. But there’s an elephant in the room: Kenya – the country whose actions have highlighted a similar flaw at the heart of the ICC. [more]

Erna is thrilled to be honoured by University College, University of Toronto, as a “UC Alumni of Influence” 2014. Please follow the link for further information about other honorees and the gala dinner, which will take place on November 6, 2014.

UC Alumni of Influence 2014

Tuesday, November 4 2014, Ottawa Citizen

Later this month, the government of Barack Obama will send a delegation to Geneva to appear before the United Nations Committee Against Torture. The committee monitors how the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture is being implemented by its 158 state parties, and it’s an important review for the United States. Because after Sept. 11, 2001, the ground shifted in that country. The practice of torture reared its head, triggering scandals such as the Abu Ghraib affair in 2004, and there has never been a full recovery. [more]

Canadian Mean-mindedness is Back

Thursday, October 2 2014, Globe and Mail A new edition of Erna Paris’s book From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain will be published in January. In 1979 and 1980, the government of Canada admitted 50,000 Vietnamese refugees. Ordinary Canadians were invited to participate in the boat people program. My parents and […]

More »