(typically Canadian pose immortalized by my husband, Toan Klein)
SUSAN GLICKMAN grew up in Montreal, the oldest of four children. She began her post-secondary education at Tufts University in Boston studying dance and drama, spent a year in Athens practicing amateur archaeology and professional tanning, and concluded at Oxford University with a degree in English Literature. She stayed on in England to answer phones and peruse the slush pile at Sidgwick & Jackson’s publishers, returning to Canada in 1977 to become an editorial assistant
with a small left-wing press in Toronto.
This job somehow inspired her to write a doctoral dissertation on Shakespeare’s dramaturgy at the University of Toronto, where she taught English and Canadian Literature and Creative Writing until 1995. Since then she has taught part-time at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, The Chang School of Ryerson University, the Lycée Français de Toronto, the Avenue Road School of the Arts, and with Writers in Electronic Residence. She also works as a freelance editor specializing in academic books, a job which keeps her in touch with other people who appreciate semi-colons as much as she does.
Her literary history, The Picturesque & the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998), won both the Gabrielle Roy Prize for the best work of Canadian literary criticism in English and the Raymond Klibansky Prize for the year’s best work in the Humanities. Susan is also the author of seven books of poetry from Signal Editions of Véhicule Press: Complicity (1983, o.p.), The Power to Move (1986, o.p.), Henry Moore’s Sheep and Other Poems (1990), Hide & Seek (1995), Running in Prospect Cemetery: New & Selected Poems (2004), The Smooth Yarrow (2012), and What We Carry (2019).
Her first novel, The Violin Lover, came out in 2006 from Goose Lane Editions. It was named one of the year’s best novels by The National Post and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction and was also recorded as an audiobook for the CNIB. A second novel, The Tale-Teller, was published by Cormorant Books in 2012 and in a French translation by Christiane Duchesne published by Les Éditions du Boréal as Les aventures étranges et surprenantes d’Esther Brandeau, moussaillon, in 2014. It was a bestseller in Quebec city, where Susan was tied with Alice Munro among “foreign authors” in translation! A third, Safe as Houses, a mystery set in Toronto, was published by Cormorant Books in September 2015 and got rave reviews in all the local papers. Her fourth full-length fiction, The Discovery of Flight, came out in 2018 with Inanna in their “Young Feminist” series, and was a choice of teen readers. It was a finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of the 2019 International Book Awards, and came out in translation in Macedonia in 2020.
She is also the author of a trilogy of highly praised children’s books, Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch, (2008), Bernadette in the Doghouse (2011; nominated for the 2015 a Governor General’s Award for its translation by Christiane Duchesnes), and Bernadette to the Rescue (2012), all available in French translation from Les Éditions du Boréal.
In 2020, The Porcupine’s Quill will be publishing a selection of Susan’s essays under the title Artful Flight. She has received Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council Awards in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and published essays and book reviews in such periodicals as Brick, Canadian Literature, Essays in Canadian Writing, The Journal of Canadian Poetry, The New Quarterly, and Maisonneuve. Her work has been widely anthologized and some of her poetry has been translated into French.
Susan started attending art school at Central Tech in Toronto in September of 2015. If she can figure out how, she will add an art page to this website. Meanwhile, here are a few pieces in different media. (The background image is a large acrylic painting called “Glen Huron.”) You can see that with visual art, as with literary art, she loves to observe things minutely. There are two things Susan particularly likes about the visual arts, however: they use the whole body, and they are quiet.
Portrait of my husband, Toan Klein (acrylic, winter 2016)
Birch branch and forsythia (drypoint etching, autumn 2015)
Hummingbird and flower (bronze, spring 2016)
Toan outside his glass studio (Acrylic, summer 2019)
Bouquet of Beets (acrylic, summer 2017)
Fish Is His Own Shadow (photograph, 2017)
Three Pears (oil on unstretched canvas, winter 2019)
© Susan Glickman 2019