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 Maclean's 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.

Selected works[edit]

  • My Sister, Esther. Turnstone, Winnipeg 1995 ISBN 978-0-88801-200-5
  • Madame Balashovskaya's Apartment. Turnstone, Winnipeg 1999 ISBN 978-0-88801-235-7
  • The Shape I Gave You. Knopf Canada, 2006 ISBN 978-0-676-97748-6
  • The Incident Report. Pedlar Press, Toronto 2009 ISBN 978-1-897141-25-0
  • La disparition d'Heinrich Schlögel, roman. Trad. de l'anglais: Paule Noyât. Éditions Jacqueline Chambon, Arles 2017 ISBN 9782330075897; Leméac, Montreal 2017 ISBN 9782760947221 (A novel around Samuel Hearne). Shortlisted 2017 Governor General's Awards, Category Translation English-French



External links[edit]