W. D. Valgardson is a short story writer,novelist, poet, playwright (b at Winnipeg, Man 7 May 1939). Raised in Gimli, Man., a heavily Icelandic community, he was educated at United College, U. Man and the U. of Iowa, now retired, he was a professor of Creative Writing at the U. of Victoria for 35 years. The characters of his short stories struggle against an often violent natural world and the implacable force of destiny. Bloodflowers (1973), his first collection, was followed by God Is Not a Fish Inspector (1975), Red Dust (1978) and What Can’t Be Changed Shouldn’t Be Mourned (1990). Though his characters are frequently violent and self-destructive, there are also moments of human triumph in his stories.
Gentle Sinners (1980), Valgardson’s first novel, is an account of a young boy’s discovery of his ancestry and traditional community. The Girl With the Botticelli Face (1992) is a humorous and moving novel about a writer’s effort to affirm his life in a crumbling world. It explores the pain and self-doubt underlying human existence. Valgardson has also published 2 volumes of poetry and 5 children’s books, and has had a dozen plays professionally produced. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada.