Hugh MacLennan is one of Canada's great writers. Five-time winner of the Governor General's Award, his work includes some of the best loved and most read Canadian novels of all time: Two Solitudes, The Watch That Ends the Night, Barometer Rising.
In this widely praised biography, written with the full cooperation of MacLennan, Elspeth Cameron describes his early life in Nova Scotia, his complex relationships with his father and mother, and the many reverses until his first great success in 1941 with Barometer Rising. Cameron's critical assessment of his work, up to and including the dense, experimental Voices in Time, places MacLennan firmly among the first rank of 20th century Canadian nationalist intellectuals, along with Harold Innes, Donald Creighton and George Grant.
Hugh MacLennan: A Writer's Life is a sympathetic and perceptive account that explores the many fascinating links between MacLennan's life and his writings.
About the author
Elspeth Cameron is the author of three award-winning biographies: Hugh MacLennan: A Writer's Life (1981), Irving Layton: A Portrait (1985), and Earle Birney: A Life (1994). Her 1997 memoir No Previous Experience won the W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize. She was the recipient of the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography in 1981 and the City of Vancouver Book Award in 1995. Her biography of Hugh MacLennan was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. She has written numerous profiles of Canadian cultural figures such as Peter Newman, Jack McClelland, Veronica Tennant, Anne Murray, Howard Engel, Janette Turner Hospital, and Timothy Findley, winning several journalism awards. Her work has appeared in Saturday Night, Chatelaine, Maclean's, Leisureways, and in a number of academic journals. In addition, she has edited seven books, including Great Dames, a collection of biographical sketches, memoirs, and essays about twentieth-century Canadian women from all walks of life. She has taught English and Canadian Studies at Concordia University and the University of Toronto, and is currently an adjunct professor in the English Language and Literature Department at Brock University. Elspeth now lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, and is at work on a biography of Group of Seven member, A.Y. Jackson.
"A deftly drawn and well-rounded assessment."
University of British Columbia Medal for Biography Citation
"This book captures the sense of what MacLennan has meant for a whole generation."
"Deeply understanding of its subject, this impressive biography does justice to the man and his work."