Jane Urquhart

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Jane Urquhart, OC (born June 21, 1949) is a Canadian author.



Born 200 miles north of Thunder Bay, Ontario in Little Longlac, Greenstone, Jane 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; Jane 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.[1] The Urquharts have one daughter, Emily, born in 1977.

She is the author of six internationally acclaimed novels entitled, The Whirlpool, Changing Heaven, Away, The Underpainter, The Stone Carvers and A Map of Glass.

The Whirlpool received the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Award). Away, was winner of the Trillium Award and a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Underpainter, won the Governor General’s Award and was a finalist for the Rogers Communications Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The Stone Carvers, was a finalist for The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, and 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 Harboufront 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.

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