Marina Endicott was born in 1958 in Golden, British Columbia, and grew up in Vancouver, Halifax and Yarmouth, and Toronto. She graduated from Toronto’s Bishop Strachan School in 1978 and attended the University of Waterloo where she earned a degree in acting. Endicott left Canada in 1982, moving to London, England to pursue theatre, and returned to Canada in 1984 to work as a dramaturge at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre. She later relocated to Mayerthorpe, Alberta, and worked for six months in 1997 at the local newspaper. She published her first novel in 2001 and has gone on to publish several bestselling works. Endicott splits her time between Edmonton and Toronto, and has visited the Canadian Literature Centre twice to read at the Brown Bag Lunch, first on November 18, 2009, and again on November 14, 2012.
Longlisted for Scotiabank Giller Prize for Close to Hugh2011
Nominated for Governor-General’s Literary Award for The Little Shadows
Selected for The Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2011 for The Little Shadows2010
Finalist for Canada Reads for Good to a Fault
Longlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Good to a Fault2009
Received Commonwealth Writer’s Prize Best Book Award — Canada and the Caribbean for Good to a Fault2008
Shortlisted for Scotiabank Giller Prize for Good to a Fault
Selected for The Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2008 for Good to a Fault2006
Shortlisted for CBC Literary Awards for “The Policeman’s Wife, Some Letters”2001
Nominated for Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award for Open Arms1993
Shortlisted for the Journey Prize for Best Short Story Published by an Emerging Author in a Canadian Literary Magazine for “With the Band”
PROUST QUESTIONNAIREIf social media had existed in the 1960s, what would you have been Tweeting or Facebooking about?
How old do you think I am? I’d have been too young for a phone.What is the best thing about Canadian literature today?
How much there is of it! How many brilliant writers, how many truly good books.Which Canadian fictional character do you most admire?
Today: Mrs. Bentley, Valancy Stirling, and Irma Voth. It’s a dead heat.What literary work should be a Canadian classic but isn’t?
Well, it is a Canadian classic, but it should be much more widely read: Marie-Claire Blais’s A Season in the Life of Emmanuel.Have you ever dreamt in a language other than your maternal language?
Only in Ancient Greek: the sound of bubbles rising from the sea, πομφολυγοπαφλασμα.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Unfortunately, just and really, but they are easy to find and excise.Do you have a recurring nightmare?
I am on a dark wharf, where a great ship is docked, at night. I can see down, down, to the dark oily ocean lapping between the dock and the ship’s hull. I fall thirty feet down into the water between the pilings and the great ship.What does your favourite outfit say about you?
This woman thinks too much.Have you ever had a Proust-like madeleine experience?
Too many foods give me a Proust-like experience, so that I’m constantly thrown back into memory. Tuna sandwiches, celery sticks; tough, dry bread pudding; Red River cereal with brown sugar in dark melting lumps; any of these carries me twitching back to childhood. The good side: eat-in-box rice krispies, a motel staple on our many car trips.Do you have a good luck charm?
I wear a little ship pendant my daughter gave me. It says Such Is Life.When do you feel most compelled to write?
Every jeezly minute of every goddamn day.What book do you wish you had written?
The Last Crossing, by Guy Vanderhaeghe.What do you consider to be your greatest extravagance?
Lipstick.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Lipstick buying.What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unwillingness to condone my lipstick buying.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being thrifty about lipstick.On what occasion do you lie?
On this occasion.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would stop being such a damn liar.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Any time I manage to tell the truth, which is almost only in fiction.What is a question you hope never to be asked again?
Will you do this Proust questionnaire, please?
LONG FICTIONEndicott, Marina. Open Arms. Douglas & McIntyre, 2001.Endicott, Marina. Good to a Fault. Freehand Books, 2008.Endicott, Marina. The Little Shadows. Doubleday Canada, 2011.Endicott, Marina. New Year’s Eve. Grass Roots Press, 2011.Endicott, Marina. Close to Hugh. Doubleday Canada, 2015.
POEMSEndicott, Marina. “The Policeman’s Wife, Some Letters.” Numéro Cinq Magazine, vol. 2, no. 7, 2011, n.p.
SHORT FICTIONEndicott, Marina. “Being Mary.” Grain Magazine, vol. 15, no. 1, 1987, pp. 74-80.Endicott, Marina. “With the Band.” Grain Magazine, vol. 20, no. 1, 1992.Endicott, Marina. “The Giant Doreen.” PRISM International, vol. 35, no. 4, 1997, pp. 16-63.Endicott, Marina. “One Alone (from Open Arms).” Grain Magazine, vol. 28, no. 2, 2000, pp. 6-22.
SHORT NON-FICTIONEndicott, Marina. “Saskatchewan Women Playwrights.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 69, 1991, pp. 25-7.Endicott, Marina. “The CTR Canon: Playscripts and Indexes, CTR 1-CTR 77.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 79, 1994, pp. 165-86.Endicott, Marina. “Marina Endicott Reviews Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Last Crossing.” Arts & Opinion, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, n.p.Endicott, Marina. “Summer Fiction: The Fine Art of Basking.” National Post, 12 August 2011.Endicott, Marina. “Yes, I Do.” Hive, WordPress, 6 February 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Life into Art.” Hive,WordPress, 7 February 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Razzle Dazzle.” Hive, WordPress, 8 February 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Writing About WWI.” Hive, WordPress, 9 February 2012.Endicott, Marina. “The Quality of the Failure.” Hive, WordPress, 10 February 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Afterword: Lessons from Pollyanna.” Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna: A Children’s Classic, edited by Roxanne Harde and Lydia Kokkola, UP of Mississippi, 2014.Endicott, Marina. “Alberta Writers Rule the Giller.” Alberta Views, vol. 17, no. 9, 2014, pp. 40-3.Endicott, Marina. “Terrible, Horrible Edie.” Brick: A Literary Journal, vol. 95, 2015, pp. 66-8.Endicott, Marina. “Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace ed. by Kit Dobsen and Smaro Kamboureli.” University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 84, no. 3, 2015, pp. 301-3.Endicott, Marina. “How to Talk about Mayerthorpe.” Finding the Words: Writers on Inspiration, Desire, War, Celebrity, Exile, and Breaking the Rules, edited by Jared Bland, McClelland & Stewart, 2011, pp. 30-9.Endicott, Marina and Matteo Pericoli. “Eden in Alberta.” The New York Times, 4 June 2011.Endicott, Marina. “Marina Endicott on Miss Mole by E.H. Young.” normblog: The Weblog of Norman Gera, Typead, n.d.
CLOSE TO HUGHClare, Kerry. “Review: Marina Endicott’s Close to Hugh is More a Play than a Novel.” The Globe and Mail, 29 May 2015.“Close to Hugh by Marina Endicott.” Consumed by Ink, WordPress, 27 May 2015.Nurse, Donna Bailey. “Close to Hugh.” Maclean’s, vol. 128, no. 22, 2015, pp. 57-8.Torry, Andrew. “Close to Hugh.” Alberta Views, vol. 18, no. 4, 2015, p. 58.
GOOD TO A FAULTBaxter, Lee. “Friendships and Discoveries.” Canadian Literature, vol. 202, 2009, pp. 136-7.“Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott (Canada Reads #2).” Compulsive Overreader, WordPress, 16 Dec. 2009.Morris, Catharine. “How at Home they all Were.” The Times Literary Supplement, vol. 5522, 2009, p. 20.Murphy, Mary Jo. “The Accidental Mom.” The New York Times Book Review, 16 May 2010.
THE LITTLE SHADOWSBrodoff, Amy Sands. “Chewing the Scenery.” Quill & Quire, vol. 77, no. 3, 2011, p. 33.Grey, Brianna Clarke. “National Storytelling.” Canadian Literature, vol. 212, 2012, pp. 147-9.Oyeyemi, Helen. “The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott – Review.” The Guardian, 2 Mar. 2012.“Review: The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott.” Book’d Out, WordPress, 26 Feb. 2012.
OPEN ARMSKinsella, W.P. “First Novels.” Books in Canada, vol. 30, no. 2, 2001, pp. 26-7.McFarlane, Brandon. “Exorcising Demons.” Canadian Literature, vol. 207, 2011, pp. 133-4.“Open Arms (Review).” Reading Through Life, 11 Mar. 2010.
INTERVIEWSEndicott, Marina. “A Chat with Marina Endicott.” By Eric Forbes, Eric Forbes’s Book Addict’s Guide to Books, blogspot, 15 Feb. 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Interview: Marina Endicott.” All Things Said or Done, blogspot, 5 July 2009.Endicott, Marina. “Marina Endicott, Author of The Little Shadows, Answers Ten Terrifying Questions.” By John Purcell, Booktopia Blog, WordPress, 27 Jan. 2012.Endicott, Marina. “Q&A with Marina Endicott.” Good Reading: Everything About Books, Good Reading Magazine, 13 Feb. 2012.Endicott, Marina. “The Questionless Books Interview: Novelist Marina Endicott.” By George Murray, Open Book: Toronto, 16 Feb. 2012.Endicott, Marina. “12 or 20 Questions: with Marina Endicott.” By Rob McClennan. Rob McClennan’s Blog, blogspot, 2 Aug. 2009.Endicott, Marina. “Writer’s Questions—Marina Endicott.” The Writer’s Pet, WordPress, 21 Jan. 2010.
FROM CRITICAL ESSAY BY DANIEL LAFOREST
A majority of characters in Endicott’s fiction are travellers. Their favoured terrain, like that of the author herself, is the Canadian Prairies. This does not prevent them from sometimes veering toward the United States as a land of uncertain opportunities, like in The Little Shadows, or toward the nondescript North where work in compressed shifts lures the despaired family at the beginning of Good to a Fault. But the reader will notice a kind of deus ex machina encompassing the novels and providing a drastic counterbalance to this revised call of the wild favoured by Endicott: randomness strikes and accidents happen.
FROM CLOSE TO HUGH BY MARINA ENDICOTT
You can bear pain. Hugh can. But you can’t stand to see it in others. It makes your hands and feet hurt. The grey room is full of grey people in various stages of pain. A little party: grouped by the window,sitting on the bed, ten or twelve of them. A woman kneeling by the nightstand says, It’s all up to you, up to Hugh. Her cloudy hair, her dress in tatters. No.