Surname is pronounced Muh-lard; born February 28, 1942, in Wheeling, WV; son of Eugene Charles and Aileen (a payroll office manager; maiden name, Sharp) Maillard; married; children: two daughters. Education: Attended West Virginia University, 1961-63. Memberships: Federation of British Columbia Writers. Addresses: Office: University of British Columbia, Creative Writing, Buch. E462-1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 121. Agent: Felicia Eth, 555 Bryant St., Suite 350, Palo Alto, CA 94301.
Writer in Boston, MA, 1967-70, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1970--; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, sessional instructor, 1980-89, assistant professor, 1989-94, associate professor, 1994--. Worked as sessional instructor for screenwriting and dramatic direction, Praxis Film Development Workshop, Simon Fraser University, Centre for the Arts, 1986-89; worked variously as an editor, teacher, writer, and photographer, 1967-84.
Ethen Wilson Fiction Prize, Motet, 1990; Light in the Company of Women was first runner-up for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, B. C. Book Prizes, 1994; Gerald Lampert Prize for best first book of poetry, League of Canadian Poets, 1995, for Dementia Americana; Hazard Zones was short-listed for the Commonwealth Literary Prize, Canadian and Caribbean section, 1996; Gloria was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, 1999. Recipient of various grants, including Canada Council, 1974, 1977-78, 1978, and Ontario Arts Council, 1976, 1977.
- (Contributor) Howard Reiter, editor, Instead of Revolution, Hawthorn, 1971.
- Two Strand River (novel), Press Porcepic (Ontario, Canada), 1976, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
- Alex Driving South (novel), Dial (New York, NY), 1980.
- The Knife in My Hands, General Publishing (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981, Beaufort Books (New York, NY), 1982.
- Cutting Through, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982, Beaufort Books (New York, NY), 1983.
- Motet (novel), Random House (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.
- Light in the Company of Women (novel), HarperCollins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
- Dementia Americana (poems), Ronsdale Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1994.
- Hazard Zones (novel), HarperPerennial (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1995.
- Gloria (novel), HarperFlamingo Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2000.
- The Clarinet Polka (novel), Thomas Allen (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
- Running, Brindle and Glass (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2005.
- Looking Good (novel), Brindle and Glass (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2006.
- Morgantown, Brindle and Glass (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2006.
- Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes, Brindle and Glass (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2006.
Writer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programs This Country in the Morning, Our Native Land,Five Nights, and Ideas. Contributor to periodicals, including Fusion, Body Politic, Malahat Review, Books in Canada, Canadian Literature, and newspapers.
Keith Maillard worked his way through the United States (including Alaska) and Canada during the 1960s as a folk singer, photographer, music teacher, and writer. In 1970 he settled in Canada, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1976, and continued his work as writer, musician, and music teacher. Since 1989, he has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two daughters.
Maillard's second published book was Two Strand River, a novel about a woman who feels she should have been a man and a man who feels he should have been a woman. Themes of breaking open and banishing conventions run through the book, which was described by a Publishers Weekly reviewer as one that "transcends the boundaries between the sexes, between humanity and nature, and between imagination and reality."
Hazard Zones, published in 1995, concerns a middle-aged man who reaches a certain state of contentment, only to be forced to look back at his past when his mother dies. As he makes arrangements for his mother's burial, an ex-wife, stepbrother, and assorted ghosts from the past rise up to haunt him. Michele Leber praised the book enthusiastically in Booklist, stating, "With its finely crafted prose, seamless narrative, wonderfully developed characters, and indelible vignettes, this is an exceptional novel, deserving to be read and reread."
Gloria is the coming-of-age story of an American country-club girl during the 1950s. Though she goes through all the motions of sorority and society life, Gloria Merriman Cotter is really an intelligent young woman who yearns to pursue life as a poetry scholar. Her marriage to a wealthy member of her family's social circle is a foregone conclusion, but one which is completely at odds with her desire to go on to graduate school. "With insight and clarity, Maillard illuminates the confused, complex, sometimes trivial but always heartfelt thoughts of a young woman trying to fathom her place in the world," asserted a Publishers Weekly writer, who added, "Maillard's precise prose weaves the long, meandering story together admirably." Other reviewers approved of the author's refusal to oversimplify his tale. A writer for Kirkus Reviews said, "Maillard makes us see the attraction of both worlds, as well as the alcoholism, infidelity, and misogyny that belie the outward complacency of the period." Michele Leber, a contributor to Library Journal, expressed the hope that Gloria might bring its author greater recognition: "Maillard invites comparison to John O'Hara for the time and place of this novel and its well-conceived characters and fluent narration; Gloria could be the breakthrough book for this deserving author."
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
- Booklist, June 1, 1996, Michele Leber, review of Hazard Zones, p. 1676; August, 2000, Grace Fill, review of Gloria, p. 2114.
- Books in Canada, summer, 1993, review of Light in the Company of Women, p. 46; March, 1995, review of Dementia Americana, p. 45; March, 1996, review of Hazard Zones, p. 13.
- Canadian Book Review Annual, 1994, review of Dementia Americana, p. 213.
- Canadian Fiction, spring-summer, 1977.
- Canadian Literature, summer, 1994, review of Light in the Company of Women, p. 115.
- Globe & Mail, June 12, 1999, review of Gloria, p. D21.
- Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1996, review of Hazard Zones, p. 551; August 15, 1996, review of Two Strand River, p. 1178; July 1, 2000, review of Gloria, p. 909.
- Library Journal, May 1, 1997, review ofHazard Zones, p. 164; August, 2000, Michele Leber, review of Gloria, p. 159.
- Publishers Weekly, September 23, 1996, review of Two Strand River, p. 71; July 31, 2000, review of Gloria, p. 68.
- Quill & Quire, March, 1993, review of Light in the Company of Women, p. 49; June, 1999, review of Gloria, p. 52.