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A Life of Timothy Findley

Sherrill Grace (author)

ISBN: 9781771124539

Publication Date: Oct 2020

Format: Hardback

Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was one of Canada's foremost writers - an award-winning novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who began his career as an actor in London. This is the first full biography of this eminent Canadian writer.

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Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was one of Canada's foremost writers - an award-winning novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who began his career as an actor in London, England. Findley was instrumental in the development of Canadian literature and publishing in the 1970s and 80s. During those years, he became a vocal advocate for human rights and the anti-war movement. His writing and interviews reveal a man concerned with the state of the world, a man who believed in the importance of not giving in to despair, despite his constant struggle with depression. Findley believed in the power of imagination and creativity to save us.

Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley is the first full biography of this eminent Canadian writer. Sherrill Grace provides insight into Findley's life and struggles through an exploration of his private journals and his relationships with family, his beloved partner, Bill Whitehead, and his close friends, including Alec Guinness, William Hurt, and Margaret Laurence. Based on many interviews and exhaustive archival research, this biography explores Findley's life and work, the issues that consumed him, and his often profound depression over the evils of the twentieth-century. Shining through his darkness are Findley's generous humour, his unforgettable characters, and his hope for the future. These qualities inform canonic works like The Wars (1977), Famous Last Words (1981), Not Wanted on the Voyage (1984), and The Piano Man's Daughter (1995).


"Written with great sensitivity and attention to detail, Grace's comprehensive biography succeeds in giving a complete picture of its subject as an individual and an artist." - Publishers Weekly

"A meticulously researched deep dive into a troubled and fascinating life–passionate, engaged, often messy, vastly rewarding." - Margaret Atwood

"Memory and remembering were central to Timothy Findley's life and work–and equally to Sherrill Grace's outstanding biography of the celebrated Canadian author. Drawing impressively and insightfully on a vast archive of letters, photos, journals, diaries, and interviews, and on her own towering talents as one of Canada's foremost literary scholars, Grace presents a compelling portrait of a complex man and brilliant multifaceted writer–himself a master of auto/biography–whose professional and personal experiences tracked the far-reaching changes of late-20th-century Canada's social and cultural landscape." - - Christl Verduyn, Mount Allison University

"A tactful, sensitive, generous, storyteller, Sherrill Grace recounts the life of one of Canada's greatest storytellers, illuminating his life and work, the people he knew and the cultural times in which he performed that life so passionately. We follow him as he learns his craft through writing and through living that intense, well-examined, if often tormented, life. At once learned and elegant, this immensely readable biography is a glorious summing up of all the themes of his work and life." - Linda Hutcheon, University of Toronto, author of The Canadian Postmodern

"A powerful, eye-opening portrait of the artist as an anguished man who tried desperately to live by his motto: Against despair." - Jerry Wasserman, Emeritus Professor of English and Theatre, UBC, editor of Modern Canadian Plays

"Sherrill Grace brings thoughtful attention to both the man and the work, the latter of which notably marked the national literature by its particular obsessions and inventions." - Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Homecoming
Illustrations 40 colour and black & white images
Pages 540
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Oct 2020
Publisher Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Subject/s Literature: history & criticism   Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers   Literary companions   Biography & True Stories   Gay & Lesbian studies   Gay studies (Gay men)  
Sherrill Grace, OC, FRSC, is a University Killam Professor Emerita at the University of British Columbia. She specializes in Canadian literature and culture and has published extensively in these areas. Her recent books include Inventing Tom Thomson (2004), Canada and the Idea of North (2007), Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock (2008), and Landscapes of War and Memory (2014).

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