Claire Cameron


Unearth the links between modern humans and Neanderthals with Claire Cameron. A STARFest guest in 2015, we are delighted to welcome Cameron back to St. Albert to talk about her inspiration and her years of research that led to The Last Neanderthal. While the novel is about Neanderthals, it’s also a story that questions what it means to be human.

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Tuesday, October 10. 7:00pm. St. Albert Public Library.  

starfest facts
Claire Cameron was a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound and she worked for The Taylor Statten Camps in Algonquin Park. Later she interned for Sierra Club Books in San Francisco and co-founded the consulting company Shift Learning in London, England. Claire’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail and Salon. She is a staff writer at The Millions.

Cameron's first novel, The Line Painter, won the 2008 Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service and was nominated for a 2008 Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Award for best first novel. Her second novel, The Bear, was published in 2014. It was a bestseller in Canada and was nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Her new book, The Last Neanderthal, was inspired by the discovery that modern humans of European and Asian descent have inherited between 1-4% of their DNA from Neanderthals—evidence of interbreeding between the two groups. While we cannot know the answer as to how modern humans and Neanderthals made contact, Cameron has taken on the risk involved in imagining how we became close cousins. Working with experts she used the new science of Neanderthals to set creative constraints, to build her story.


Cameron will be in conversation with Pamela Willoughby, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. Her field is the study of the earliest archaeological records. 

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Photo credit: David Kerr