June 21, 1949 |
Little Longlac, Ontario
|Notable award(s)||Governor Generals Award, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award|
|Spouse(s)||Paul Keele, Tony Urquhart|
Born 200 miles north of Thunder Bay, Ontario in Little Longlac (now part of Greenstone), Ontario, Urquhart is the third of three children and the only daughter of Marian (born Quinn) and Walter (Nick) Carter, a prospector and mining engineer. Urquhart spent her later childhood and adolescence in Toronto, where she was educated at Havergal College, a private school for girls. She received her first B.A in English literature (1971) from the University of Guelph.
While there, she met visual artist Paul Keele, and they were married in 1968. Keele was killed in a car accident in 1973; she then returned to the University of Guelph to study art history, obtaining her second B.A. in 1976. The same year, she married Canadian visual artist Tony Urquhart. Their daughter, Emily, was born in 1977; Emily is a folklorist and writer who has had articles published in major Canadian magazines such as The Walrus.
She is the author of seven internationally acclaimed novels entitled, The Whirlpool, Changing Heaven, Away, The Underpainter, The Stone Carvers, A Map of Glass, and Sanctuary Line.
The Whirlpool received the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Award). Away was winner of the Trillium Book Award and a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Underpainter won the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. The Stone Carvers was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. A Map of Glass was 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, Calgary's Bob Edwards Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. In 2005 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Recently, she was named the 2007 Banff Distinguished Writer.
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, the University of Toronto, and the University of Guelph. She has also given readings and lectures in Canada, Britain, Europe, the U.S.A., and Australia.
In 2007 she edited and published The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, and in 2009 she published a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery as part of Penguin’s “Extraordinary Canadians” series.
Urquhart lives in Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada, and occasionally in Ireland.
Awards and honours
In 1992, her novel The Whirlpool was the first Canadian book to win France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur livre etranger (Best Foreign Book Award). Her third novel, Away, remained on The Globe and Mail''s national bestseller list for 132 weeks (the longest of any Canadian book), and won the 1994 Trillium Book Award.
In 1994 Urquhart received the Marian Engel Award, presented to female Canadian novelists in mid-career for her entire body of work. In 1996 she was named to France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a chevalier, and Away was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world's largest literary prize for a single work of fiction. In 1997 Urquhart was asked to serve on the jury for this award.
In the fall of 1997, her fourth novel, The Underpainter, was published to wide critical acclaim, winning the 1997 Governor General's Award for English Fiction, and becoming a fixture on the national bestseller lists.
In 2001 she published The Stone Carvers, a highly acclaimed international bestseller that was a finalist for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
In 2005, Urquhart was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Urquhart's books have been published in many countries, including the Netherlands, France, Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, Australia, and the United States, and have been translated into several languages.
- The Whirlpool. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1986.
- Storm Glass. Erin, ON: Porcupine's Quill, 1987.
- Changing Heaven. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1990.
- Away. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993.
- The Underpainter. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1997.
- The Stone Carvers. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2001.
- A Map of Glass (2005)
- Sanctuary Line (2010)
- Storm Glass (1987)
- I'm Walking in the Garden of His Imaginary Palace: Eleven Poems for Le Notre. Toronto: Aya Press, 1982.
- False Shuffles. Victoria: Porcépic, 1982. Toronto: Aya Press, 1982.
- The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan. Erin, Ontario: Porcupine's Quill, 1984.
- Some Other Garden. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2000.
- Selected and introduced The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. Toronto: Penguin, 2007.
Except where noted, bibliographic information courtesy Brock University.
- Canadian Writers, an examination of archival manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, journals and notebooks at Library and Archives Canada
- "Jane Urquhart," Canadian Women Poets, BrockU.ca, Web, Apr. 13, 2011.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
- "Planet" from Some Other Garden, online at CBC Words at Large
- "Jane Urquhart" in Canadian Writers, an examination of archival manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, journals and notebooks at Library and Archives Canada
- "Jane Urquhart's husband, Tony Urquhart"
- A selection of 10 poems relating to Niagara from False Shuffles transcribed with permission on the Niagara Falls Poetry Project website
- Jane Urquhart's entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Jane Urquhart's video in Les podcasts de la sorbonne nouvelle
- Canadian Poetry Online: Jane Urquhart (Biography and six poems (Shadow, The Baroque Bed, The One Before, Venetian Gondoliers at Versailles, All Around the Palace, Hall of Mirrors)