Awards & Praise


Danuta Gleed Award co-winner: The County of Birches

U.S. National Jewish Book Award finalist: The County of Birches

Tilden Canadian Literary Award for non-fiction: “Flight”

National Magazine Award for personal essay: “Flight”

National Magazine Award President’s Medal for overall best publication: “Flight”

Journey Prize Anthology selection: “Not for Me a Crown of Thorns”

Memoir Magazine’s Memoir Prize for Books Honourable Mention: The book length manuscript, Lost and Found: A Memoir which is an earlier version of the published memoir Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life

The Best American Essays 2018 Notable Essays of 2017’: “Testifying”



“Kalman’s spare and elegant prose illuminates the page, from the first to the last. These interconnected stories chart the resilience and elasticity of the heart. Superbly written and deeply satisfying.”—Sandra Birdsell, Juror, The Danuta Gleed Literary Award

“Kalman captures perfectly the sharp, intuitive quality of a child’s perspective and the telling detail of everyday life, imbuing her finely honed stories with grace and wonder.”—Publishers Weekly

“Kalman has rendered her characters with artistry and profound compassion, providing them a dignity too rare in their lives.”—Stephanie Bolster, The Montreal Gazette

“Kalman’s nimble, lucid prose and quirky sense of humour reflect a defiant optimism.”—Jim Boothroyd, The Vancouver Sun

“Kalman explores the profoundly meaningful territory of identity with insight and passion. . . . Readers will be struck by the horror of inhumanity and the splendour of hope that Kalman so perceptively articulates.”—Candace Fertile, The Globe and Mail


“Gracefully written and emotionally evocative, Called to Testify in many ways goes beyond what one might expect of the memoir genre by virtue of Kalman’s beautiful prose. Above all, Kalman’s memoir is a moving reflection on the impact of trauma and how it shapes one’s identity.”–Hannah Srour-Zackon, The Canadian Jewish News, July 26, 2022