URQUHART, Emily




Author Tags: Health

In 2015, Emily Urquhart was named as one of four finalists for the 12th annual B.C. National Non-Fiction Award. Including her description of a trip to Tanzania with her husband to investigate the high incidence of albinism in that country, Emily Urquhart's memoir Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins $29.99) investigates the phenomenon of albinism from her perspectives of folklorist and the mother of Sadie, a daughter diagnosed with albinism, a rare genetic condition. We learn, among many things, that the term 'albino' is about as politically incorrect as retard or homo. People with "oculocutaneous abinism" have little no pigment in their skin, hair and eyes. As well, they have little protection against the sun; burns are quick and dangerous and may cause skin cancer. "Low pigmentation," she writes, "results in photophobia, meaning that daylight, particularly the searing rays of high noon, can be intolerable." The book was shortlisted for a Hubert Evans non-fiction prize.

With a doctorate in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Emily Urquhart of Victoria won a National Magazine Award in 2014.

978-1-44342-356-4

[BCBW 2015]

eyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Gene
Article (2016)


from BCBW (Spring 2016)
Emily Urquhart was named one of four finalists for this year’s B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction for Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins $29.99), shortlisted from among 137 entries.

Beyond the Pale investigates the phenomenon of albinism from her perspective as a folklorist and mother of Sadie, her daughter, who has albinism, a rare genetic condition.

Several chapters in Beyond the Pale concern Urquhart’s trip to Tanzania with her husband to investigate the high incidence of albinism in that country.

We learn, among many things, that the term “albino” is no longer politically correct. People with “oculocutaneous abinism” have little or no pigment in their skin, hair and eyes. As well, they have little protection against the sun; sunburns are quick and dangerous and may cause skin cancer.

“Low pigmentation,” she writes, “results in photophobia, meaning that daylight, particularly the searing rays of high noon, can be intolerable.”

With a doctorate in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Emily Urquhart of Victoria won a National Magazine Award in 2014. 978-1-44342-356-4

The B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction was won by Rosemary Sullivan for her biography, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Sveltana Alliluyeva (HarperCollins). The Quebec-born author was presented with the $40,000 prize at a sumptuous, free-for-VIPs bun toss at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel on February 4th. All three runners-up including Urquhart received $5,000 each.