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Frances Greenslade was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, and grew up with four sisters and one brother, playing among the grapes and orchards of the Niagara Peninsula. The family moved to Winnipeg when Frances was ten, and she would live there for the next fourteen years, attending Springfield Collegiate High School in Oakbank and then completing an English degree at the University of Winnipeg. After moving to Vancouver and briefly working for TV Guide, Frances decided to pursue writing as a career; she returned to school, this time the University of British Columbia, and completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing in 1992. She met her husband soon after, and together they moved to Regina. Having called four provinces home by this point, Frances began to wonder what the notion of home meant anymore, to migrant Canadians like her. Her first book, A Pilgrim in Ireland: A Quest for Home (published in 2002), was the result of Frances trying to figure out the answer to that question. The memoir, which won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-Fiction, tells of the physical and spiritual journey Frances undertook to seek out her family’s roots in Ireland. By the Secret Ladder: A Mother’s Initiation, was published in 1997, a year after Frances gave birth to her son, and tells of Frances’s often dramatic experiences as a new mother. She writes with candour about what it’s really like for women to go through childbirth and take the leap into motherhood – with all of its lows and highs – in ways that authors of books on becoming a mother rarely do. In 2005 Frances and her family moved to Penticton, in the southern Okanagan, where her love of the B.C. landscape flourished and was a source of inspiration in writing Shelter, her first novel. As Frances has said, the freedom of writing fiction was eye-opening: “As I began work on my novel, Shelter, I remember telling my editor, ‘This is way easier. I can make things up.’ Shelter is fiction but it draws on many of my own worst fears.” In addition to writing, Frances teaches English at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. She is currently working on her next book, which is set in rural Manitoba and Bombay in the 1970s, and is tentatively entitled Sing a Worried Song.
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