Nino Ricci was born in Leamington, Ontario, to parents from the Molise region of Italy, and completed university studies in Toronto, Montreal, and Florence, Italy. He has served as a writer-in-residence for the Toronto and Kitchener public library systems and for the University of Windsor, and has held the Mariano Elia Chair at York University, the Chair in Religion and the Arts at Assumption University, the G. M. Hopkins Chair in Literary Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, and the Killam Visting Professorship in Canadian Studies at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He is also a past president of the Canadian Centre of International PEN, a writers’ human rights organization that works for freedom of expression. In 2006 he was the inaugural winner of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2010 he was the recipient of York University’s Pinnacle Achievement Award.
Nino Ricci’s first novel was the internationally acclaimed Lives of the Saints. It spent 75 weeks on the Globe and Mail‘s bestseller list and was the winner of the F.G. Bressani Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. In England it won Betty Trask Award and Winifred Holtby Prize, in the U.S. was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and in France was an Oiel de la lettre Selection of the National Libraries Association.
Published in seventeen countries, Lives of the Saints was the first volume of a trilogy that continued with In a Glass House, hailed as a “genuine achievement” by The New York Times, and Where She Has Gone, nominated for the Giller Prize. The Lives of the Saints trilogy was adapted for a television miniseries starring Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson.
Nino Ricci lives in Toronto with his wife, writer Erika de Vasconcelos, and their children.