Lara is a writer, researcher, and educator who grew up in a diverse, working-class neighbourhood in Toronto, close to her Japanese Canadian grandparents and often visiting her Anglo-Irish Canadian grandmother on her rural Ontario farm. Though she did not like reading as a kid, she did love good stories for their power and magic, and eventually earned a MA in English Studies (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and a PhD in English (University of Toronto). While living abroad, she was inspired to learn more about her family’s experience of internment during WWII and was fascinated by dispossession and hoarding in novels about the Japanese Canadian internment. Lara has since taught, lectured, and published internationally on literature, the Japanese Canadian internment, issues of racism, and education. Now back in Toronto, she remains passionate about equity, social justice, and the environment, and about carrying the important lessons of the past into the future. When she’s not writing or working on another book called Lost Objects (McGill-Queens UP), she might be found hiking in the city’s parks or tending to the little things around her home and community. Obaasan's Boots, based on her family’s experience of being uprooted, detained, and dispossessed by the government, and written with her cousin, Janis Bridger, is her first novel.