Their well-crafted structures and precise images have brought many readers to appreciate Ross's work. In them, he presented a theme that remained a preoccupation: intellectual isolation. Ross was little known to the Canadian or international public until his first novel, As For Me and My House, was published in New York in 1941. It was immediately hailed as superior, with its insight into the barren existence of Horizon, Sask. Often perceived as a gloomy portrait of rather miserable people, the book has surprising moments of humour and satire. The theme of triumph over the stultifying effects of small-town life and the Depression is its greatest strength and what differentiates it from Main Street, the Sinclair Lewis novel with which it is often compared. Its psychological penetration guarantees its place in modern Canadian literature.
Ross's next 2 novels, The Well (1958) and Whir of Gold (1970), failed to make much critical impact. His novella called Sawbones Memorial (1974), however, is a technical tour de force, relying more on dramatic than narrative technique. It consists of a series of dialogues and interior monologues in which the history of the town and most of its inhabitants is powerfully recreated. Upon retirement from the Royal Bank in 1968, Ross moved to Greece and then to Spain. Ill health prompted his return to Canada in 1980.
Author KEN MITCHELL
Links to Other Sites
A brief bio of writer Sinclair Ross from the "ABC Bookworld" website.