Margaret Laurence was born in Canada in 1926 in the prairie town of Neepawa, Manitoba. She attended the local high school, at which she began to write stories, and studied at United College. In 1947 she married John Laurence, a civil engineer, whose work later took them to live in Africa for five years. Her time there inspired several works, including A TREE FOR POVERTY (1954), THIS SIDE JORDAN (1960) and LONG DRUMS AND CANNONS. In 1962 she moved to England with her two children and it was at Penn in Buckinghamshire that she began the series of four books based on her home town, renamed Manawaka, for which she is best known: THE STONE ANGEL (1964); A JEST OF GOD (1966), filmed as RACHEL, RACHEL (1968), THE FIRE DWELLERS (1969) and THE DIVINERS (1974). She returned to Canada in 1974. A draft of her memoirs, DANCE ON THE EARTH, edited by her daughter, was published in 1989.
photo: Peter Esterhazy, with kind permission of the Estate of Margaret Laurence.
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