Author Tags: Fiction, Kidlit & Young Adult

Marion Quednau's novel The Butterfly Chair (Toronto: Random House, 1987) won the W.H. Smith/Books In Canada First Novel Award in 1988 as a psychological story of a daughter's fearful fascination with her angry and violent father. Reluctant to consider marriage and a family of her own, 30-year-old Else, the protagonist, writes a long-overdue letter to her dead father after a dreamed meeting with Carl Jung.

Quednau's volume of poetry, Kissing: Selected Chronicles, through the Toronto: League of Canadian Poets, 1999) won a National Poetry Award. Her children's book is Nerves Out Loud (Annick, 2001).

Born (1952) and raised on the northwest outskirts of Toronto, near a bend in the Humber River, Quednau has run a small farm in Tweed, Ontario, written an eight-part series about handicapped children for CBC and has raised her daughter in Mission, B.C.

[BCBW 2006] "Fiction" "Kidlit"

Quednau bio
Promo material (2001)

According to promotional text for young readers provided by her children's book publisher Annick Press, Marion Quednau, as a child, "spent a lot of time building rafts and jumping off cliffs into snowdrifts. It was a different kind of childhood, where the oddball and "didn't fit" kids outnumbered the "cool" ones. Designer labels, gender and race didn't matter, as long as you could prove yourself worthy in the current neighborhood adventure. There was a lot less TV and a lot more staying out until dark on your bike. One of her favorite Walt Disney movies was the story of Tonka, the horse that survived Custer's last stand. Characters without a voice often troubled her imagination. Marion wrote stories in grade school. One she particularly remembers was about a sun-faded, rumpled umbrella that no one wanted: she was the umbrella. In high school, Marion started writing poetry, often bleak and dismal, about the world ending. She couldn't help it; she had been warned about a world population explosion and had survived by hiding under her desk during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was around this time she also developed a healthy sense of humor, mostly ironic. When she was sixteen she published her first writing outside of school magazines. She continued to write, but to earn a living she also had to have part-time jobs. The best advice Marion can give to aspiring writers for children is to hold on to the state of mind that has you climbing the bars and bouncing the ball in some schoolyard, everything slippery and slightly scary and dazzling, as though for the first time. For young adult readers, two of her favorite authors are Brian Doyle and Dennis Foon... Marion has long been an equestrian coach and trainer of mostly badly behaved horses. She has also helped train a search-and-rescue dog named Darby Doodles. One day she might write stories about him."