Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter, short story writer and novelist (born at Bills Quay, England 25 February 1960). When Kathleen Winter was aged eight the family immigrated to Marystown, Newfoundland, the first of many small towns and villages where Winter grew up. Her writing examines the complexities of self-determination and identity. She creates characters who do not quite fit into their expected lives and strain against the constraints society places upon them. Her writing often vividly depicts the natural world, which provides her characters with strength and solace.

After completing a degree in journalism at CARLETON UNIVERSITY, Winter wrote a column for the Corner Brook Telegram. She focused on the ordinary lives of ordinary people, often musing over the meaning of the passage of time and how we all carry every age within us. Winter also worked as a screenwriter for Sesame Street and has worked as a documentary filmmaker. Her journal The Road Along the Shore - An Island Shore Journal (1991) was written following two years filming a documentary about the arts in Labrador.

In 2007, Kathleen Winter published BoYs, a collection of SHORT FICTION exploring what men think, what women want, and how these phenomena collide. In her story "You Can Keep One Thing" a young Maggie struggles with the many complicated codes of existence in a small Newfoundland village which is her new home, from the terminology of "fish sticks" vs. "fish fingers" to the codes of behavior that win favour amongst classmates. The root of all the stories can be seen when Maggie's father enters a beautiful hand-made kaleidoscope, full of mirrors and coloured foil candy wrappers, into a "Light and Colour" craft show. The rejection letter expresses one of Winter's own major themes: "Your entry is whimsical, but we are returning it as it doesn't really fit our theme." Winter's interest in how an individual fits into the rigorous and restrained worlds in which we move remains a constant in her writing. BoYs won the 2007 Metcalf-Rooke award and the 2007 Winterset Award.

Kathleen Winter's first NOVEL, Annabel (2010), was shortlisted for the three most recognized Canadian literary prizes: the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD for fiction and the SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE. It was also shortlisted for Britain's Orange Prize. The story presents Jacinta and Treadway Blake and their son Wayne, who is born an intersex child. Against the wishes of his mother, Wayne's father insists that their child be raised as a boy. For many years, Treadway teaches him about the world of nature, hunting and trapping. In time Wayne undergoes painful surgeries and hormone treatments. Wayne, named Annabel in his mother's mind, finally makes his own decision with the help of his teacher Thomasina, for whom " people were rivers always ready to move from one state of being into another. It was not fair to treat people as if they were finished beings."

Winter continues to write and lives in Montreal. Her brother, Michael WINTER, is also a writer.