Christopher Shulgan is the author of two books and a contributor of essays and feature articles to numerous magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. But that little statistic about "two books" gets tricky because he's also written books for other people, as a prolific ghostwriter, as well as lots of essays and op-eds. Back to under his own name now, he also writes the parenting column for Toronto's best weekly magazine, The Grid, and is the only dad on the parenting panel of the hit daily lifestyle show, Steven and Chris. Finally, over the course of this winter, he'll be blogging about snowboarding and skiing with young children over at the Bunch Family blog.
His second book, Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood, chronicles his battles with responsibility and substance abuse. It's also a meditation about masculinity and fatherhood, and the way popular culture in North America keeps those two concepts separate. The Canadian publication date was September 30, 2010.
His critically acclaimed first book, The Soviet Ambassador: The Making of the Radical Behind Perestroika, was in late 2008 shortlisted for the largest prize for non-fiction published in Canada, the $40,000 National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. The book is the remarkable story of Mikhail Gorbachev's right-hand man, Aleksandr N. Yakovlev, who transformed from a Soviet Communist to a fervent believer in democracy during a 10-year exile to Canada. The book was first released in 2008 by McClelland & Stewart, and will be republished in a paperback edition in the spring of 2011.
In 2007, Shulgan won a Gold Medal in the political writing category at Canada’s National Magazine Awards for a feature in Toro magazine about a Canadian peacekeeper’s death in the Haitian slum of Cité Soleil. The nomination was the fifth time he was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Shulgan also has been nominated for a National Newspaper Award for a feature he wrote for the Ottawa Citizen about the work of traffic scientist Baher Abdulhai.
To research his heavily reported feature articles he has explored dangerous areas and fascinating subcultures, infiltrating the right-wing anti-immigration group, the Minutemen, retracing the route of a twenty-something pedophile killer through the backwoods of Maine and flying over the mountains of Costa Rica with one of the U.S. Department of Justice’s most wanted men, the Internet poker mogul Calvin Ayre.
Shulgan completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and has a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He’s edited and published a cross-Canadian magazine about youth culture, Neksis, and written a short film, The Memory Merchant, that was produced by the National Film Board in 2006. He's also a successful participant in the NFB's documentary-filmmaker training program, Momentum. His play, What Cool Is, was published in the Oxford University Press textbook, On Common Ground, and read at London’s Grand Theatre. His work also has been performed at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. He lives in downtown Toronto with his two children.
"Infuriating, moving, and terrifying, Superdad is a journey into the dark heart of self-destructive hypermasculinty and out the other side into a kind of uneasy truce between the idea of 'father' and 'real man.' As a writer, I found myself awed by Shulgan's tale-teller's facility; as a dad, I found myself wanting to smack him until he stopped destroying his family and his life. Superdad is a brave memoir that humanizes the self-immolating urge of the crack addict."
--Cory Doctorow, author of For The Win and co-editor of Boing Boing
“Christopher Shulgan pulls off a cool sort of alchemy; Superdad is an illuminating book about delusion, a wise book about idiocy, a kind-hearted book about acting like a jerk. And then on top of all that, the man makes writing look easy.”
-- Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, author of Down to This and Ghosted