Leanne Shapton is a Canadian writer, artist and publisher based in New York City. Shapton grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, and attended McGill University and Pratt Institute. After internships at Harper's Magazine, the Booklyn Academy of Music and Saturday Night Live, and working for the illustrator James McMullan, she began her career at the National Post where she edited and art-directed the daily Avenue page, an award-winning double-page feature covering news and culture. She went on to art direct Saturday Night, the National Post's weekly news magazine.
In 2003, Shapton published her first book of drawings, titled Toronto. She published Was She Pretty? in 2006, and Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris including Books, Street Fashion and Jewellery, in 2009. Her two books of paintings, The Native Trees of Canada and Saturday Night Movies, were published in 2010 and 2013.
From 2008 to 2009, Shapton was the art director of The New York Times Op-Ed page. In 2012 Shapton published Swimming Studies with Penguin/Random House US and UK. It won the 2012 National Book Critic's Circle Award for autobiography and was long listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2012. In 2014, Shapton co-published the New York Times bestselling Women In Clothes, with novelists Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits, a book looking at how women dress. Her first children’s book, Toys Talking, was published in 2016. In March of 2019, Guestbook, a book of ghost stories, was published in the spring of 2019.
Shapton was a judge of the 2018 Man Booker prize, and is the co-founder, with photographer Jason Fulford, of J&L Books, an internationally-distributed not-for-profit imprint specialising in books of art, photography and fiction. Shapton teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University School of the Arts.