Cynthia Holz is the author of five widely acclaimed novels and a collection of short stories. She earns comparisons to Carol Shields for the clarity of her prose and the complexity of her characters’ moral predicaments. “A master at mining the terrain of coupledom—its sorrows as well as its absurdities,” says the Globe and Mail. “The most distinct characteristic of a work of fiction will always be the quality of the author’s voice,” adds The National Post, “and no one can say it like she can.”

The Kingston Whig–Standard described Cynthia’s 1989 debut collection of short stories, Home Again, as “so good you can’t get enough.” Meanwhile, Quill and Quire called Onlyville, “a spare, polished, luminescent novel.” The Other Side, Semi–Detached, and A Good Man earned similarly glowing reviews.

Named by the Edmonton Journal’s Books Editor as among “the most fearless and original Canadian work of the new year,” Cynthia’s latest book, Benevolence, is a spellbinding story that offers an intimate look at family, friendship and altruism, and unrolls a cast of characters you can’t help but root for even as you question some of the things they do.

Benevolence combines a deeply suspenseful plot with characters so vivid that I felt I might meet them at any moment on their way to a streetcar or a bar,” says Margot Livesay. “Cynthia Holz writes beautifully about the longings and accommodations of middle age, work and trauma, poetry and gardens, and the possibility of altruism. The result is a wise and wonderful novel.”

Born in New York, Cynthia came to Canada in 1976 as the Canadian correspondent for Business Week magazine.

Photo Credit: Eric Weiner