Myrna Kostash was born in Edmonton and educated at the University of Alberta, the University of Washington, and the University of Toronto (M.A. Russian Language and Literature,1969). She began her freelance writing career in Toronto as a magazine journalist, book reviewer, and columnist before writing books of literary and creative nonfiction.
Myrna is the author of seven acclaimed books of literary nonfiction and two anthologies, of numerous essays and articles, of radio documentaries and playscripts.
Her works include the classic of Ukrainian-Canadian literature, All of Baba’s Children; Long Way From Home: The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada; award-winning No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girl; award-winning and Globe & Mail Notable Book of the Year Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe; The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir; The Next Canada: In Search of the Future Nation, finalist for the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing; and arranged and edited Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan, a prize-winner at the Saskatchewan Book Awards, and The Frog Lake Reader, a finalist in the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award.
Myrna’s 2010 book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, is a gathering-together of travel writing, memoir, historical and political narrative, art history and reflection, in search of a saint of Byzantium and the Orthodox Church, St Demetrius of Thessalonica. It was short-listed for the Runciman Award, an annual literary award offered by the Anglo-Hellenic League for a work published in English dealing wholly or in part with Greece or Hellenism.
In original documentations of two key events in western Canadian history, she is the editor of The Frog Lake Reader (2009) and The Seven Oaks Reader (2016). Her work-in-progress is The Ghost Notebooks, about her grandparents.
Kostash is a recipient of the Alberta Achievement Award and of the Alberta Council of Ukrainian Arts “Excellence in Artistry” Award, the Canadian Conference of the Arts Honorary Life Member award, the Queen’s Jubilee Award, the Alberta Centennial Medal, the City of Edmonton’s 2006 Citation Award, “Salute to Excellence,” and the Writers Guild of Alberta Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement. In 2009 she was an inducted into the City of Edmonton’s Hall of Fame.