Sharon Kirsch was born in Montreal, Canada, and has lived in York, England, and Washington, D.C. Since 1995, she has been based in Toronto, where she works as a freelance editor and writer. Her travel stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, among others. Her first book of creative non-fiction, What Species of Creatures: Animal Relations from the New World (Vancouver: New Star Books), was published in November 2008. 

Sharon’s passion for nature is longstanding and an indirect legacy from her paternal grandfather, a plant collector and demonstrator in biology. The Smallest Objective, her award-winning memoir exploring the family she never knew, includes a chapter about objects recovered from her botanist grandfather—his early twentieth-century Jug Handle microscope and lantern slides of plants. For more information about The Smallest Objective, please visit

For Sharon, engagement with the natural world extends beyond the indoor activities of writing and editing. When living in Washington, D.C., she volunteered with the Center for Marine Conservation, and she is presently a caretaker of feral cats in Toronto. With her husband, Mark, a historian of plants and gardens, she travels widely, ever in pursuit of the gray jay, the spider lily, the goldenrod stowaway or the clouded crimson.