Douglas Glover’s obscurity is legendary; he is mostly known for being unknown. He has been called “the most eminent unknown Canadian writer alive” (Maclean’s Magazine, The National Post). But for sheer over-the-top hyperbole, nothing beats the opening of a recent piece about him in Quill and Quire in Toronto, which elevates his lack of celebrity to the epic: “Certain mysteries abide in this world: the Gordian Knot, the Holy Trinity, and the literary obscurity of Douglas Glover.” Luckily, he owns a dog and is not completely alone in the world. And occasionally someone actually reads what he writes: He has also been called “a master of narrative structure” (Wall Street Journal) and “the mad genius of Can Lit” (Globe and Mail) whose stories are “as radiant and stirring as anything available in contemporary literature” (Los Angeles Review of Books) and whose work “demands comparison to [Cormac] McCarthy, Barry Hannah, Donald Barthelme, William Faulkner” (Music & Literature).
Glover is the author of five story collections, four novels, two books of essays, Notes Home from a Prodigal Son and Attack of the Copula Spiders, and The Enamoured Knight, a book about Don Quixote and novel form. His new essay collection The Erotics of Restraint: Essays on Narrative Form will appear next year. In 2007, he was given the Writers’ Trust of Canada Timothy Findley Award for an author in mid-career. His novel Elle won the 2003 Governor-General’s Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was optioned by Isuma Igloolik Productions, makers of Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner. Elle was adapted for the stage by the actress Severn Thompson and premiered at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille in January, 2016. Glover’s story collection A Guide to Animal Behaviour was a finalist for the 1991 Governor-General’s Award. His stories have been frequently anthologized, notably in The Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Stories, and The New Oxford Book of Canadian Stories. He was the subject of a TV documentary in a series called The Writing Life and a collection of critical essays, The Art of Desire, The Fiction of Douglas Glover, edited by Bruce Stone.
Glover was the publisher and editor of the monthly magazine Numéro Cinq from 2010 to 2017. He has taught at Colgate University, the University at Albany-SUNY, Skidmore College, and Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2005, he was the McGee Professor of Writing at Davidson College. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Lethbridge, St. Thomas University and Utah State University. For two years, 1994 and 1995, he produced and hosted The Book Show, a weekly half-hour literary interview program which originated at WAMC in Albany and was syndicated on various public radio stations and around the world on Voice of America and the Armed Forces Network. He edited the annual Best Canadian Stories from 1996 to 2006.
He has two sons, Jacob and Jonah, who will doubtless turn out better than he did.