“Writing a book is a very messy business for me,” says Giller Award-winning author Elizabeth Hay. And past successes don’t guarantee a smoother ride the next time around.
“It keeps you humble,” she admits. And that’s a good thing—because when we’re humble, we’re also receptive.
“I discover the book in the process of writing it. I do make outlines, but the outlines keep changing.”
The result? Nine original and highly distinctive books. From The Only Snow in Havana—an imaginative blend of autobiography, history, and biography that won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction—to the highly-acclaimed stories in Small Change, to the Giller Award-winning novel, Late Nights on Air, each is characterized by Elizabeth’s keen insight, dark humour, and superb craftsmanship.
“Elizabeth Hay has created her own niche in Canadian fiction by fastening her intelligence on the real stuff—the bumps and glories in love, kinship, friendship,” the Toronto Star observed on the release of Garbo Laughs. “Enormously moving … An unsentimental testament to resilience and mettle … A triumphant novel,” said Newsday, of A Student of Weather.
With her latest release, His Whole Life, Elizabeth confirms her status as one of our most beloved authors. An unconventional coming of age story set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec is on the verge of leaving Canada, it takes us into a richly intimate world where everything that matters is at risk: family, nature, home.
Born in Owen Sound, Elizabeth has since lived in places ranging from the Northwest Territories to Mexico. Today she makes her home in the Ottawa Valley.
Appearing in 37. Cross-Border Reading