1922 - 2016
Friday, October 11, 2019
at 6:00 pm at the Writers' Chapel
St Jax Montréal.
Now almost forgotten and seriously neglected by feminist scholarship, Constance Beresford-Howe was a true ground-breaking forerunner of much of what now passes as women's activism. Born in 1922 in Montreal of a middle-class Anglophone family, she went on to earn a doctorate from Brown University in the United States and to join the English Department at McGill University in Montreal where, among other subjects, she pioneered in the teaching of creative writing. She scored a major coup when her first novel, The Invisible Gate written in her early twenties, was published by a prestigious American publisher, Dodd Mead in 1949. She went on to publish a total of ten significant novels developing a strong voice on women's issues at a time when the literary world, with a few exceptions, was the domain of male authors. She was an exceptional observer and celebrant of women's lives crafting in the process a classic - The Book of Eve - in which, in a remarkable story, she showed women that escape from the vassalage of married life was possible. After teaching at McGill and Ryerson Universities, Constance Beresford-Howe retired with her husband to England where she died in 2016.