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Gail Bowen Biography

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Gail Bowen

Birthdate:   22-September-1942
Website: http://www.gailbowen.com
Category: Writers

Bowen, Gail (b. 1942).  Born Gail Bartholomew in Toronto, she learned to read by age three from tombstones in Prospect Cemetery, a facility that was extremely useful when she was struck by polio two years later.  She was educated at the University of Toronto (B.A.), University of Waterloo (M.A.), and the University of Saskatchewan, where she almost completed a Ph.D.  After a series of extension-course teaching contracts in small-town locations across Saskatchewan and a ten-year sessional stint with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Regina, she was granted tenure in the English department of the university in 1986, one year before the publication of 1919: The love letters of George and Adelaide, a novella written in collaboration with Ron Marken.  She is an Associate Professor and Head of the English Department at First Nations University of Canada.

Bowen has received widespread acclaim for her detective series featuring Joanne Kilbourn, a fictional character who has much in common with her creator.  Both are teachers at Saskatchewan universities, sometime TV panelists, and both have several children and a one-time politically connected husband.  The nine books in the series offer challenging puzzles and motives with a fair sprinkling of clues.

So popular have these novels been that Deadly Appearances, Murder at the Mendel, The Wandering Soul Murders, A Colder Kind of Death, A Killing Spring and Verdict in Blood have appeared as made-for-television movies.  But it is the added elements of the books with which her readers empathize:  complex family interactions alongside every-day domestic details, prairie urban life and work, the ever-present prairie weather, and the realistic and dimensional portrayal of contemporary Indigenous peoples.



Joanne Kilbourn Mysteries:
The Last Good Day (2004)
The Glass Coffin (2002)
Burying Ariel (2000)
Verdict in Blood (1998)
A Killing Spring (1996)
A Colder Kind Of Death (1994)
The Wandering Soul Murders (1992)
Murder At The Mendel (1991) (Re-issued as Love and Murder)
Deadly Appearances (1990)

Other Works:
1919: The Love Letters of George and Adelaide (with Ron Marken) (1987)
"The Fiction of Sinclair Ross" (Canadian Literature, Spring, 1979)
"Guides to the Treasure of Self: The Function of Women in the Fiction of Robertson Davies" (Waves, Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 1976)
Play: Adaptation of Peter Pan (1997)
Play: The Tree (Globe Theatre, Regina, 1994)
Play: Dancing in Poppies (co-written with Ron Marken) (Globe Theatre, 1993)
Play: Beauty and the Beast (Globe Theatre, 1993)

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