Evelyn Lau began publishing poetry at the age of 12; her creative efforts helped her escape the pressure of home and school. In 1985, at age 14, Lau left home and spent the next several years living itinerantly in Vancouver as a homeless person, sleeping mainly in shelters, friends' homes and on the street and often supporting herself by selling her body to much older men. Despite the chaos of her first two years' independence she submitted a great deal of poetry to journals and received some recognition. A diary she kept at the time was published in 1989 as Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. The book was a critical and commercial success. Topics and individuals discussed in the book include some of Lau's various relationships with manipulative older men, the life and habits of a group of anarchists with whom she stayed immediately after leaving home, Lau's experiences with a couple from Boston who smuggled her into the United States, her abuse of various drugs, and her relationship with British Columbia's child support services. The film The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1993) starred Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh.
She currently lives in Vancouver.
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