Born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan on May 2, 1923, Hawkins received a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1949 and a Bachelor of Library Science from the University of Toronto in 1956. She worked at the Saskatoon Library before marrying a young Anglican pastor and moving to a rural post in Saskatchewan. Having attended a writers' workshop at Fort Qu'Appelle in Saskatchewan led by W.O. Mitchell, she published dozens of short stories and articles in various magazines over several decades of writing. Her first novel called Chokecherry (Oberon, 1995) concerns a fictional Anglican pastor named Geoffrey Hastings, a British immigrant, and his new bride Becky, a former librarian with an urban upbringing. They must learn to cope with the pastor's new assignment in the fictional community of Chokecherry, three hours north of Saskatoon by bus. They ineptly manage in the poor parish of 500 people, scraping together enough money to buy an old car but not always able to buy groceries. The locals mistaken assume Reverend Hastings has an independent income. Becky must learn how to drive and also learn to play the organ--very poorly--with one-finger renditions of hymns. Based on personal experiences, Chokecherry is a comical and mostly affectionate look at prairie life in the 1950s. Norma Hawkins and Reverend Dr. David G. Hawkins came to Vancouver in 1963. Having worked at the Prince Albert Library, she worked as a children's librarian and also a branch head witin in the Vancouver Public Library system for 23 years until her retirement.

[BCBW 2003] "Fiction"