Timothy Taylor

Timothy Taylor, writer (born at Venezuela, 1963). Raised in Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB, Timothy Taylor earned an ECONOMICS degree at UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA and an MBA at QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY. He worked in BANKING until leaving the business world to become a writer in 1991. He told QUILL & QUIRE that he knew he needed to write: "It was a sense of something being undone. I was really busy and increasingly unhappy, and there reached a point where the cost seemed to be outweighing the benefits." That decision was rewarded. In 2000 Taylor won the JOURNEY PRIZE for his short story "Doves of Townsend" and became the first writer to have three stories in a single Journey Prize anthology, an accomplishment that remains unmatched.

Taylor's debut book, a NOVEL entitled Stanley Park (2001), was a BEST-SELLER and critical success. A finalist for the SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, it was also the 2003 One Book, One City selection for Vancouver and a selection for the 2007 Canada Reads debate, where it was defended by singer-songwriter Jim CUDDY of BLUE RODEO. As the title suggests, Stanley Park is strongly grounded in place and highlights Taylor's oft praised talent for depicting contemporary urban life. Set in VANCOUVER, the novel features Jeremy Papier, a food artist and owner of The Monkey Paw bistro, famous for its unpretentious local cuisine. In response to severe financial difficulties, Jeremy is forced to sell The Monkey Paw to Dante Beale, the owner of an international coffee chain called Dante's Inferno. In an important subplot, Jeremy's anthropologist (seeANTHROPOLOGY) father camps out in Stanley Park to research a group of homeless men. Stanley Park captures Vancouver with all its complexity and contradictions, presenting the city's wealthiest citizens alongside its poorest, and juxtaposing Vancouver's urban intensity with its natural splendour.

Taylor followed the success of Stanley Park with an acclaimed short story collection, Silent Cruise (2002), and a second novel, Story House (2006). Despite his early success with SHORT FICTION, Taylor told Quill and Quire that he sees himself primarily as a novelist: "My heart belongs with writing novels." Taylor is also an award-winning journalist and has been published widely in Canadian nonfiction magazines and newspapers.

Timothy Taylor's third novel, The Blue Light Project (2011), was awarded the CBC Bookie Prize in the Literary Fiction category. The Blue Light Project is an intense and compelling exploration of contemporary existence. It is a novel packed with the energy of CITY life: hostage-takings, reality TV gone wrong, parkour, drug addiction, street art, explosions, corrupt journalists, disillusioned Olympians, resilient children, and a brother who appears to have dropped out of it all. With profound insight, Taylor critiques our society's obsession with celebrity and TECHNOLOGY. He also explores the role ART, in its many forms, plays in today's world. Early in the novel Eve Latour, an Olympic athlete much lauded for her heroic completion of a race under the harshest of circumstances, claims "Finishing is just what you do. I imagine it takes more courage to quit." This message applies to a variety of "races," and Taylor asks readers to pause and consider our society's current trajectories rather than blindly staying the course.

On the balance between hope and despair in relation to the creative process, Taylor claims: "Without hope, why bother with anything, let alone novels? But there is hope, sure there is. My friend, the photographer Lincoln Clarkes once said to me: 'You know, the only way to explain street art is to think of it as a gift. ... It only makes sense as a response to some other value, outside ourselves, on some higher perch. Art still might not save us. But that higher value might, that capacity to give."

Taylor is a full-time writer and lives in Vancouver, BC.