About the Author

Timothy Findley

Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was one of Canada's most compelling and best-loved writers. He is the author of The Wars, which won the Governor General's Award and established him as one of Canada's leading writers, as well as Pilgrim and The Piano Man's Daughter, both finalists for The Giller Prize. His other novels, Headhunter, The Telling Of Lies, The Last Of The Crazy People, The Butterfly Plague, Famous Last Words, Not Wanted On The Voyage, and Spadework; his novella, You Went Away; and his short fiction, Dinner Along The Amazon, Stones, and Dust To Dust, have won numerous awards and are well loved both in Canada and internationally.

Elizabeth Rex won the Governor General's Award for Drama and The Stillborn Lover won a Chalmers Award. His works of non-fiction include Inside Memory and From Stone Orchard.

Timothy Findley was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

if (SYM == "BIO") { document.writeln(""); } else { document.writeln(""); }

Books by this Author
Can You See Me Yet?

Can You See Me Yet?

a play by Timothy Findley
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
More Info

Famous Last Words

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged :
More Info
Pilgrim

Pilgrim

A Novel
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback Paperback
tagged : literary
More Info

Stones

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged :
More Info
The Wars

The Wars

Penguin Modern Classics Edition
edition:Paperback
More Info
The Diviners

The Diviners

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged : classics, literary
More Info
Excerpt

The river flowed both ways. The current moved from north to south, but the wind usually came from the south, rippling the bronze-green water in the opposite direction. This apparently impossible contradiction, made apparent and possible, still fascinated Morag, even after the years of river-watching.

The dawn mist had lifted, and the morning air was filled with swallows, darting so low over the river that their wings sometimes brushed the water, then spiralling and pirouetting upward again. Morag watched, trying to avoid thought, but this ploy was not successful.

Pique had gone away. She must have left during the night. She had left a note on the kitchen table, which also served as Morag’s desk, and had stuck the sheet of paper into the typewriter, where Morag would be certain to find it.

Now please do not get all uptight, Ma. I can look after myself. Am going west. Alone, at least for now. If Gord phones, tell him I’ve drowned and gone floating down the river, crowned with algae and dead minnows, like Ophelia.

Well, you had to give the girl some marks for style of writing. Slightly derivative, perhaps, but let it pass. Oh jesus, it was not funny. Pique was eighteen. Only. Not dry behind the ears. Yes, she was, though. If only there hadn’t been that other time when Pique took off, that really bad time. That wouldn’t happen again, not like before. Morag was pretty sure it wouldn’t. Not sure enough, probably.

I’ve got too damn much work in hand to fret over Pique. Lucky me. I’ve got my work to take my mind off my life. At forty-seven that’s not such a terrible state of affairs. If I hadn’t been a writer, I might’ve been a first-rate mess at this point. Don’t knock the trade.

Morag read Pique’s letter again, made coffee and sat looking out at the river, which was moving quietly, its surface wrinkled by the breeze, each crease of water outlined by the sun. Naturally, the river wasn’t wrinkled or creased at all — wrong words, implying something unfluid like skin, something unenduring, prey to age. Left to itself, the river would probably go on like this, flowing deep, for another million or so years. That would not be allowed to happen. In bygone days, Morag had once believed that nothing could be worse than killing a person. Now she perceived river-slaying as something worse. No wonder the kids felt themselves to be children of the apocalypse.

No boats today. Yes, one. Royland was out, fishing for muskie. Seventy-four years old this year, Royland. Eyesight terrible, but he was too stubborn to wear glasses. A marvel that he could go on working. Of course, his work did not depend upon eyesight. Some other kind of sight. A water diviner. Morag always felt she was about to learn something of great significance from him, something which would explain everything. But things remained mysterious, his work, her own, the generations, the river.

close this panel
Show editions
close this panel

User Activity

more >
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...