Evelyn Yee-Fun Lau was born on 2 July 1971 in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Chinese immigrants. From the time she was six years old, Lau wanted to become a writer. At the age of thirteen, she began to publish poems and short stories in magazines; she even won an essay contest sponsored by the Vancouver Sun to meet the pope. Unfortunately, the repressive constraints of her parents, who obsessively pushed her to become a doctor and denied her any creative outlet, led her to take her life to the streets at the age of fourteen. Spiraling down into a life of drug abuse and prostitution, Lau tried to commit suicide twice before she was seventeen. Putting her thoughts on paper was the only thing that helped her get through psychologically. She chronicled her life on the streets in a diary, which was published in 1989 when she was barely eighteen. Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid made it to the Canadian best-seller list and stayed there for thirty weeks. In 1994, her autobiography was made into a ninety-seven-minute television movie entitled The Diary of Evelyn Lau.
One year after the publication of Runaway, Lau published her first collection of poetry, You Are Not Who You Claim (1990). Since then, Lau has written two other volumes of poetry, Oedipal Dreams (1992) and In the House of Slaves (1994); two collections of short stories, Fresh Girls and Other Stories (1993) and Choose Me (1999); one novel, Other Women (1995); and one collection of essays, Inside Out: Reflections on a Life So Far (2001). Over the years, she also contributed some reviews and articles to Vancouver Magazine and to the Globe and Mail. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines such as
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Publication information: Book title: Asian-American Poets:A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Contributors: Guiyou Huang - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 195.
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