Martha Baillie (born 1960) is a Canadian poet and novelist.
Baillie was born in Toronto, Ontario and educated at the prestigious Toronto French School. She studied history, French and Russian at the University of Edinburgh, and completed her studies at the Sorbonne, Paris and the University of Toronto. It was there that she became involved in theatre. In 1981, after an extended trip through Asia, she decided to shift her focus from acting to writing. After her return - and a brief interlude as a French immersion and ESL teacher - she took up a part-time position at the Toronto Public Library where she is currently employed. Her writing has been published in Canada, Germany and Hungary.
In The Incident Report (2009), Baillie uses the format of 144 short reports to recount incidents from her own experiences as a librarian. As a work of fiction the novel contains conventional elements such as "a love story and a mystery"; as a report, it presents a subtext depicting "how Toronto libraries have become a refuge for the city's marginalized".The Incident Report was long listed for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Besides four novels, Baillie has had poems published in journals including Descant, Prairie Fire and The Antigonish Review. Other literary work includes a treatment on The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach, an installation environment by Iris Häussler, first published in Brick in 2007.
The author lives in Toronto.
- My Sister, Esther. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-88801-200-5 (paperback)
- Madame Balashovskaya's Apartment. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0-88801-235-7 (paperback)
- The Shape I Gave You. Knopf Canada, 2006. ISBN 978-0-676-97748-6 (hardcover)
- The Incident Report. Toronto: Pedlar Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1-897141-25-0 (paperback)
- Martha Baillie - Biography
- Macleans - Top selling fiction and non-fiction titles (week of May 22 2006)
- Sumi, 2009
- Carniol, 2009
- Carniol, Naomi (23 April 2009). "Lurking in our Libraries". The Star. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Sumi, Glenn (15 April 2009). "Speaks volumes". Now (magazine). Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Martha Baillie's Website (includes book excerpts and other writing)
- My Sister, Esther, accessed 28. March 2009
- Madame Balashovskaya's Apartment, accessed 28. March 2009
- The Shape I gave You, accessed 28. March 2009
- The Incident Report, accessed 28. March 2009