An internationally celebrated novelist today, Jane Urquhart began her literary career as a poet. Some Other Garden brings together in a special new edition, illustrated by the beautiful photographs of Jennifer Dickson, two of Urquhart’s early poetry collections. These poems centre on another time and place while vividly evoking life in the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, as seen through the dispassionate eyes of one of his most influential mistresses, Madame de Montespan. Set amidst the ornate gardens and backrooms of the palace of Versailles, the poems brilliantly map the play of desire, vanity, dominance, and mortality that transpires within a king’s garden.
From the chateau at Marly and the machinations of the court at Versailles, to the worms that play their final game of love beneath the statues in the garden, Urquhart renders the intrigues of court and romantic entanglement with startling imagery and astonishing craftsmanship. Some Other Garden is a dazzling work of imagination from one of Canada’s most beloved writers.
Jane Urquhart was born in Little Long Lac, Ontario, and grew up in Toronto. She is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels: The Whirlpool, which received Le prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Award) in France; Changing Heaven; Away, winner of the Trillium Award and a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Rogers Communications Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; The Stone Carvers, which was a finalist for The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize; and A Map of Glass, a finalist for a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Storm Glass, and four books of poetry, I Am Walking in the Garden of His Imaginary Palace, False Shuffles, The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan, and Some Other Garden). Her work has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Urquhart has received numerous honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and has been writer-in-residence at the University of Ottawa and at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and, during the winter and spring of 1997, she held the Presidential Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the University of Toronto. She has also given readings and lectures in Canada, Britain, Europe, the U.S.A., and Australia.
Jane Urquhart lives in southwestern Ontario.
“A series of flawless and breathtaking poems.…The world between the covers of this book is shown in all its brilliant excess, in verse which is splendid in its dazzling self-control, stunning in its restraint.”
–Hungry Mind Review
“The poems shine with the crystalline brilliance of gems in the sunlight.”
“An exquisite book of poems: elegant, precise, restrained, classical.…”
–The Malahat Review
“The poems reveal beauty, decay, deceit, destruction and an overpowering lust for beauty and power.”