Jessica Grant

Jessica Lindsay Grant, writer, educator (born at St. John's, NL, 31 May 1972). Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Jessica Grant received her BA (Honours) from the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (1996), her MA from MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY OF NEWFOUNDLAND (2003) and her PhD in English with a specialization in creative writing from the UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY (2007). Grant has had many of her short stories published in journals such as Event, New Quarterly and Grain. Her work has also been included in anthologies, including Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow (2010), The Penguin Book of Contemporary Canadian Women's Short Stories (2006) and EarLit Shorts 3 (2009). In 2004 Grant released a collection of her short stories, Making Light of Tragedy, and in 2009 her first novel, Come, Thou Tortoise, was published. In addition to writing Grant has also worked as an educator. She has taught classes on creative writing and short fiction at Memorial University of Newfoundland (2007-2009), was a faculty member at Piper's Frith Writing Retreat in Swift Current, Newfoundland (2009) and the BANFF CENTRE (2010) and served as the writer-in-residence at Memorial University of Newfoundland for the winter 2011 semester.

Jessica Grant's major publications, Making Light of Tragedy (2004) and Come, Thou Tortoise (2009), have garnered much critical acclaim. Her debut collection, comprised of 23 short stories, received positive reviews from critics. They point to Grant's refusal to be limited by realism, her witty and wry dialogue and her distinctive and "off-kilter perspective." Come, Thou Tortoise is a coming-of-age novel following Audrey Flowers as she returns to Newfoundland and finds that her once idealized hometown does not live up to her romanticized memories. The narrative perspective of Come, Thou Tortoise is unique in that it is divided between Audrey and her pet tortoise, Winnifred.

Jessica Grant has been nominated for, and has won, numerous awards. One of the stories in her collection Making Light of Tragedy won the Writers' Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart JOURNEY PRIZE (2003) and the Western Magazine Award for Fiction (2003). Come, Thou Tortoise was short-listed for the 2010 CANADIAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION Young Adult Book Award, was long-listed for CBC's Canada Reads 2011 competition, and won the Winterset Award (2009), the First Novel Award (2009) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Downhome Fiction Award (2010).