Born to a rambling airline pilot and an aspiring writer and family lawyer as one of four siblings, six half siblings and five step siblings, Sabrina Canfield developed an appetite for unfamiliar terrain and a proclivity toward difficult work at a young age. By the time she completed her undergraduate degree at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Canfield had lived in Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Washington State, Utah, and Prague, Czech Republic. At Reed, she studied Russian, driven by a passion for the great Russian novels and a desire to read them in the language in which they were created. Her senior thesis, Death in the Poetry of Gavril Derzhavin, contributed both original critique and translation to the literature; a number of the poet’s works had previously only been available in Russian.
In 2005, Canfield worked with a Hollywood film studio to adapt her first novella, Birds of Paradise, to a screenplay. Birds of Paradise, and her most recent novel, To the Place Where They Go, have been recognized in multiple years by the Faulkner Wisdom literary competition.
In early 2006, Canfield moved to post-Katrina New Orleans to report on the hurricane’s aftermath and resultant litigation for a legal newswire. The city provided a multitude of interesting story opportunities in the years following; since 2010, Canfield has reported extensively on the effects of the BP oil spill and subsequent legal cases resulting from it. The Poynter Institute and NewsTrust’s Energy News Hunt featured her oil spill work in 2010. A selection of this work, and more, can be seen at sabrinacanfield.com.
In 2007, Canfield traveled to The Hague to cover the international war crimes trial of Charles Taylor, the warlord and former president of Liberia. When not writing novels or working as a journalist Canfield is an avid traveler and occasional travel writer, recently having returned from safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and baby son.