Katherine Ashenburg

Katherine Ashenburg is the author of three books and many magazine and newspaper articles. She wrote for The New York Times travel section and on design for Toronto Life, among others . Her books include “Going to Town: Architectural Walking Tours in Southern Ontario” (winner of the Ontario Historical Society award), “The Mourner’s Dance: What We Do When People Die” (short-listed for two important prizes) and “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History” (one of The Independent’s Ten Best History Books of the year and one of the New York Public Library’s 25 Best Books of the year), which was published in 12 countries and six languages. In former incarnations, she was a producer at CBC Radio and The Globe and Mail’s Arts and Books editor. She won a Gold Medal at the National Magazine awards in 2012 for her article on old age. She is currently working on a novel.

More information about Katherine Ashenburg can be found on her website: ashenburg.com

Photo Credit: Joy von Tiedemann


Sofie & Cecilia (Forthcoming March 2018, Knopf Canada)






All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean (Annick Press, 2016)

“All the Dirt” was chosen as one of the best Canadian books for kids and teenagers in 2017 by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. It is also a finalist for four readers’ choice awards across the country — in the Maritimes, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.


The Dirt on Clean

The Dirt on Clean:
An Unsanitized History

(Knopf Canada, 2007) “Brimming with lively anecdotes, this well-researched, smartly paced and endearing history of Western cleanliness holds a welcome mirror up to our intimate selves, revealing deep-seated desires and fears spanning 2000-plus years.”
— Publisher’s Weekly”Utterly engaging … filled with fascinating information … a lively account.”
— New York Times Style Magazine


The Mourner's DanceThe Mourner’s Dance:
What We Do When People Die
(North Point Press 2002, Vintage Canada)Shortlist, Pearson Nonfiction Prize 2003
Shortlist, Trillium Award, 2003
Amazon.ca’s Best 25 Books for 2002
Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2002


Going to TownGoing to Town:
Architectural Walking Tours in Southern Ontario

(Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1996)Ontario Historical Society Award, 1996-97


Agent: Samantha Haywood