Grace O’Connell

Grace O’Connell is a Toronto-based writer and editor and the author of Magnified World (Random House Canada, 2012) and Be Ready for the Lightning (Random House Canada, 2017). Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in publications including The Walrus, Taddle Creek, the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, ELLE Canada, Sharp Magazine for Men, Quill & Quire, and the Journey Prize Stories. She has been nominated for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and two National Magazine Awards for fiction, and was the 2014 winner of the Canadian Author Association’s Emerging Writer Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto, writes a books column for This Magazine, and serves as Senior Editor for Open Book.

Be Ready for the Lightning (summary):

From acclaimed New Face of Fiction alumna Grace O’Connell, a suspenseful, poignant and provocative tale about violence, sibling love, friendship & heroism — all told through the lens of a young woman trapped in a hijacked bus.


With her razor wit and flawless ear for human speech, O’Connell turns the rare trick of writing a novel that reads as though an actual person was sitting next to you telling her story.” — The Globe & Mail

Be Ready for the Lightning totals you with a tidal flow of fear, suspense, affection and the singular brand of sadness that accompanies hard truth told well.” —The National Post

Be Ready for the Lightning is both a gripping page-turner and a heartfelt examination of what it means to be compassionate, even in the most extreme situations. Cinematic and timely, it’s a book you will not be able to put down.” —Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People