Marina Endicott

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Endicott at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2015 Marina Endicott at the Eden Mills Writers Festival 2015 (DanH-0113) (cropped).jpg
Endicott at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2015

Marina Endicott (born September 14, 1958) is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Her novel, Good to a Fault, won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and was a finalist for the Giller Prize. Her next, The Little Shadows, was long-listed for the Giller and short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award. Close to Hugh, was long-listed for the Giller Prize and named one of CBC's Best Books of 2015. Her latest, The Difference, was one of the Globe & Mail's Best Books of 2019. It will be published by W.W. Norton in the US as The Voyage of the Morning Light in June 2020.


Personal life

Endicott was born in Golden, British Columbia in 1958, the daughter of an Anglican priest; she grew up in Vancouver, Halifax and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Toronto, Ontario. She worked as an actor before moving to London, England, where she began to write fiction. Returning to Canada in 1984, she went west to Saskatoon and worked in theatre as a director and dramaturge. She was for many years the dramaturge of the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre. In 1992 she went farther west with husband Peter Ormshaw to Mayerthorpe, Alberta, on his first posting with the RCMP; [1] they have since lived in Cochrane and Edmonton, and have two children: Will (1993) and Rachel (1996). They presently (2019) live in Edmonton.

Writing career

Endicott was an actor and director for many years before beginning a second career as a writer of fiction. When asked why she switched, she explained:

Being an actor isn't an easy life. The work is so ephemeral... I write novels instead of plays because I like the intimate link of the silent writer and the silent reader. [2]

Endicott's first short story appeared in Grain in 1985. Her stories have been anthologized in Coming Attractions and short-listed for the 1993 Journey Prize. Her first novel, Open Arms (2001), was a finalist for the in Canada First Novel Award and was broadcast on CBC Radio's Between the Covers in 2003. Good to a Fault was selected for the 2010 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads . Her long poem about the Mayerthorpe incident, "The Policeman's Wife, Some Letters", was short-listed for the CBC Literary Awards in 2006.

Her third novel, The Little Shadows, published by Doubleday in 2011, was longlisted for the Giller and shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Fiction.

She co-wrote the screenplay for the 2012 documentary film, Vanishing Point . [3]

Her novel Close to Hugh was published in May, 2015 [4] and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. [5]

Her 2019 novel, The Difference, Knopf Canada, was one of the Globe & Mail's Best Books of 2019. It will be published by W.W. Norton in the US as The Voyage of the Morning Light in June 2020.

Prize and honours


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  1. Ormshaw has also had two careers, first as a poet then as a Mountie - Wall Street Journal p. W3, 2 April 2010
  2. Wall Street Journal p. W3, 2 April 2010
  3. Volmers, Eric (29 September 2012). "Calgary International Film Festival: National Film Board documentary, Vanishing Point, offers environmental message with a subtle touch". Calgary Herald . Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  4. "The 50 most anticipated books of 2015 (the first half, anyway)". The Globe and Mail , January 2, 2015
  5. The Scotiabank Giller Prize Presents Its 2015 Longlist