Mary Swan



Photo credit: Emma Porter

Mary Swan grew up in Southwestern Ontario and graduated from York University. She published her first short stories in the early 1970s and spent a number of years wandering and travelling, returning to settle in Guelph, Ontario in 1982. Mary worked for many years in the reference department of the University of Guelph library, while continuing to write and publish fiction. Her novella, ‘The Deep’, won the Malahat Review novella contest in 2000, and the 2001 O. Henry award for short fiction.

The Deep was published in 2002, followed by a collection of short stories, Emma’s Hands, in 2003. The novella and most of these stories were also published in the U.S. as The Deep and Other Stories, a New York Times Notable Book in 2003, and by Granta in the U.K.

In 2005 Mary left the University of Guelph library to write full-time and her novel, The Boys in the Trees, was published by Henry Holt in 2008. It was shortlisted for both the Giller Prize and the Amazon First Novel Award, and is now available from Vintage Canada. Mary’s latest novel, My Ghosts, was published by Knopf Canada in 2013.


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Mary Swan (photo Emma Porter); at the Kingston Writer’s Festival (photo Garrett Elliott); with Shelley Macbeth, Anthony DeSa, Ted Barris and Lynwood Barclay in Uxbridge


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With Joseph Boyden and Brittany at the Vancouver Writer’s Fest (photo Anthony DeSa); at IFOA with Amanda Leduc, Hari Kunzru, Kataryn Kuitenbrouwer; at the Whistler Writer’s Fest with Ania Szado, Peter Zuckerman, Stephen Vogler, Roberta Rich, Patrick Dewitt and Janet Love Morrison.

Interview with Craig Rintoul, Toronto

Reading at The Bookshelf, Guelph