Gwethalyn Graham


Gwethalyn Graham (1913-65)

Gwethalyn Graham Brown (1913-65) was born into a well-connected, very political Toronto family, source of her lifelong preoccupation with social justice. Educated at a girls' school, she was 'finished' in Switzerland, and for a year attended Smith College in the USA, before marrying and giving birth to a son in 1933. After a swift divorce she moved to Montreal, became a freelance writer and published her first novel Swiss Sonata. She spoke out against anti-Semitism and discrimination against French Canadians, themes that were central to the 1944 Earth and High Heaven; it won the Governor-General's Award and was the first Canadian book ever to be top of The New York Times besteller list (staying on the list for 38 weeks). It sold 1.5 million copies and was translated into fifteen languages. Gwethalyn Graham married again and lived in the USA; then she returned to Montreal and co-wrote Dear Enemies: a dialogue on French and English Canada. 

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