Meticulous Research and Beautiful Prose

Photo by Les Argonautes on Unsplash

On October 10th, 2023 CWLC member Janet S. presented on the works of Katherine Govier. Janet has been part of the club since 2004. She is currently serving on the CWLC Executive as Social Chair. In her life, she has been inspired by Thesiger to travel the world boldly.

Ms. Govier is a Canadian author with ties to CWLC history. To quote from club historian Sandra E. :

“In 1980-81, Doris Govier presented to the CWLC on the topic of Women in Alberta Fiction.  The theme of the year was “Ocean to Ocean – Getting to know Canada through History and Exploration.”    From her obituary:  ‘In 1970 Doris received her M.A. in English from the University of Calgary, focussing on Canadian Literature. She was a pioneer in her support for Canadian, and prairie literature. In 1972 she founded the “Doris Govier Canadian Literature Group”, which introduced this burgeoning national book culture to hundreds of devoted Calgary followers. Doris was awarded the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture in 1990.’

Doris Govier had three daughters: Trudy, Katherine, and Sue.   Katherine Govier has written 10 books, and Trudy Govier is also a distinguished writer of philosophy and argument. (”

Janet gave readings from several of Ms. Govier’s 10 works: Creation, Half for You and Half for Me, Three Views of Crystal Water, The Ghost Brush, Hearts of Flame, Random Descent and The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel. Ms. Govier is also the author of short story anthologies and non-fiction – for more information, follow the previous link to her webpage.

Janet emphasized Ms. Govier’s skill in turning meticulous historical research into prose that feels real. This was most clear in Janet’s favourite work among these books, Creation, which was based on Mr. John James Audubon‘s trip up the St. Lawrence River in 1833. Historically, the trip was documented by Captain Bayfield. (Janet noted that Captain Bayfield is perhaps Canada’s greatest hydrographic explorer). Govier used Bayfield’s journals to bring that time in Canada’s history, and the personalities of the Captain and Audobon, to life for the reader.

As she always does, Janet S. gave a lively discussion of Govier’s works, highlighted by well-selected readings. Join us next week when member Della Mae W. will present on author John Banville.

At this meeting, we welcomed several guests and one new member. Interested but not a member yet? Not a problem: click here to find out more.

More information on our 2023-2024 program can be found here:

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