Born in Detroit, Michigan, of mixed English-Russian parentage, she was educated at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and at the University of British Columbia, where she earned a doctorate for a thesis that explored the application of Jungian principles to the creative writing process.
She has taught creative writing courses in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, and from 2008-2010 was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria. In spring 2015, she served as writer-in-residence at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. Her publications include a novel, a short story collection, a children"s book, a poetry collection, and a volume of personal essays.
Her novel Arms was described by The Globe and Mail as a "verbal heartache, a bravura performance of language and perverse imagination".
Sonik was among 10 authors longlisted for the 2012 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. The nomination was for Afflictions & Departures, which illustrates an experimental nonfiction genre Sonik has termed a "fracture." "A fracture is a series of short, linked memoir pieces that uses techniques of hard-boiled journalism and literary fiction, and self-consciously disrupts or fractures conceptions of linear time." The book was also a shortlisted nominee for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize.
Sonik currently resides in Victoria, British Columbia, where she teaches in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria.