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|Born||James Sinclair Ross|
January 22, 1908
near Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Died||February 29, 1996 (aged 88)|
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Resting place||Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Notable works||As For Me and My House|
|Notable awards||Order of Canada|
James Sinclair Ross, CM (January 22, 1908 – February 29, 1996) was a Canadian banker and author, best known for his fiction about life in the Canadian prairies. He is best known for his first novel, As For Me and My House.
Life and career
Ross was born on a homestead near Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. When he was seven, his parents separated, and he lived with his mother on a number of different farms during his childhood, going to school in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. He left school after Grade 11 and in 1924 the sixteen-year-old Ross joined the Union Bank of Canada which became part of the Royal Bank of Canada a year later. At first he worked in a number of small towns in Saskatchewan then moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1933 and Montreal, Quebec in 1946, after spending four years in the Canadian Army during World War II. He would remain with the Royal Bank until his retirement in 1968, after which he spent some time in Spain and Greece before moving to a nursing home in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lived until his death.
As For Me and My House, set in an isolated town in the Prairies during the Great Depression, was published in 1941. At first not much noticed, it went on to become a Canadian literary classic which set the precedent for the genre of Canadian prairie fiction. He wrote three more novels during his lifetime as well as a few anthologies of short stories, none of which became as well known as his first novel. He is known to have destroyed manuscripts of novels that his publisher rejected, including a sequel to Sawbones Memorial.
In 1992, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He died in 1996 after battling Parkinson's Disease, and was buried in Indian Head. At the end of his life, his homosexuality became public knowledge, thanks in large part to Keath Fraser's controversial 1997 biography As For Me and My Body: A Memoir of Sinclair Ross.
- The Lamp at Noon and other stories. Queen's Quarterly, 1938; reed. 1968; reed. McClelland and Stewart, 1988; reed. Penguin Modern Classics, 2018
- "One's a Heifer"
- "The Painted Door"
- in German: Die frisch gestrichene Tür, in Kanada erzählt. Transl. Walter E. Riedel. Fischer Taschenbuch 10930, Francfort 1992, pp 9 – 32
- "The Lamp at Noon".
- in German: Die Lampe am Mittag, in Kanadische Erzähler der Gegenwart. Transl. Walter E. Riedel. Manesse, Zurich 1986, pp 339 – 358; and in Die weite Reise. Kanadische Erzählungen und Kurzgeschichten. Transl. Karl Heinrich. Volk und Welt, Berlin 1974, pp 103 – 117
- "Cornet At Night" (In 1963 the National Film Board of Canada produced a 15-minute film based on this story.)
- "A Field of Wheat"
- "A Day with Pegasus"
- "The Outlaw"