Martha Baillie

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Martha Baillie (born 1960) is a Canadian poet and novelist.

Baillie was born in Toronto, Ontario. 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 position at the Toronto Public Library where she is currently employed. Her writing has been published in Canada, Germany and Hungary.[1]

Her most popular novel to date is The Shape I Gave You (2006), listed as a national bestseller by Macleans magazine in May 2006.[2]

In The Incident Report (2009), Baillie uses the format of 144 short reports to recount incidents from her own experiences as a librarian.[3] 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".[4]The Incident Report was long listed for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Besides five 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.




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