Steven Galloway

Click here to read Steven Galloway in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Steven Galloway, writer (b at Vancouver, BC 13 July 1975). Galloway grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia and studied creative writing at the UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, where he now teaches creative writing. He also teaches at SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY. He is married with two daughters and lives in New Westminster, BC.

Steven Galloway’s first novel is Finnie Walsh (2000), a work about the love of hockey and the way two boys form a bond that carries them through life’s tragedies and trials. The style of Galloway’s early literary influences, Farley MOWAT and John Irving, is apparent in this powerful, captivating novel. Finnie Walsh was nominated for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award.

Ascension (2003), Galloway’s second novel, enters a completely different world from his first, following the life of a man who, at age 66, decides to walk across a wire strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Ascension looks at the life leading up to this decision, exploring suffering, rejection and the search to find a place free from suspicion and calamity. Ascension was nominated for the BC Book Prizes’ Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and has been translated into numerous languages.

The Cellist of Sarajevo (2008) is Galloway’s third novel. Set during the siege of Sarajevo in the mid-1990s, it explores the dilemmas of ordinary people caught in the crisis. The title references the true story of Vedran Smailovic, a cellist who played for 22 days in sight of the snipers to honour the people dying around him. The novel examines the gentleness found in humanity and the lasting and healing power of art. It has become an international bestseller, with rights sold in 30 countries. The novel was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and won the 2009 Evergreen Award.

The Cellist of Sarajevo sparked some controversy after Smailovic demanded recognition of his presence in the novel, and several critics accused the Canadian-born Galloway of appropriation of voice. Galloway has asserted his embrace of the power of the imagination to place oneself in another’s experience, to explore a variety of subject matter, themes and cultural backgrounds. Galloway’s works have received praise from around the world.

Author CHARLENE DAVIS

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