Barbara Lambert was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley, studied at the University of British Columbia, married a fellow student and raised three children while writing fiction and establishing a Vancouver business in textile design. Her written work (including the winner of the 1996 Malahat Review Novella Prize) has been published in a variety of literary magazines, and in the Journey Prize Anthology.

Lambert's story collection A Message for Mr. Lazarus was chosen by The Globe and Mail as a notable book of the year, and was winner of the 2001 Writers' Union Danuta Gleed Award for best first short story collection, and a B.C. Book Prize finalist. Her novel The Allegra Series, published in 1999, weaves the tale of a contemporary love triangle together with ancient myth and the history of textile design. [See below]

Set against a landscape where hills still shelter secrets from Etruscan times, Barbara Lambert's The Whirling Girl (Cormorant 2012) explores the layered nature of desire, and asks what really are the conditions that foster art, or love-or the unearthing of civilization's buried stories. As a child, botanical artist Clare Livingston was enthralled by her uncle's tales of lost civilizations. Now, after years of estrangement, she has unexpectedly inherited his property in Italy. She travels to the hill town of Cortona, hoping to find the meaning of this disturbing gift, left by the uncle who fled his family when she was a teen. Instead she is swept up in a world of archaeological intrigue where new friends and lovers reveal suspect aims. Her evasions lead her along a twisting path until-as even her ability to paint is compromised-she is forced into an excavation of her own complex history.

Having lived in Vancouver, Ottawa and Barbados, Lambert returned to the Okanagan Valley, where she lives on a cherry orchard, in Penticton, with her husband Douglas Lambert.


Penticton B.C.

ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: German/American/Spanish


2001: Writers' Union Danuta Gleed Award (best first collection of short fiction).

2001: Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (finalist).

1996: Malahat Review Novella Prize.


A Message for Mr. Lazarus (a novella and seven stories) (Cormorant 2000).
Trade paperback 207 pp ISBN 1-896951-22-8 $19.95 CDN

The Allegra Series, a novel, (Beach Holme/Porcepic Books 1999) Trade paperback 200 pp ISBN 0-88878-399-X $16.95 CDN

The Whirling Girl (Cormorant 2012) 978-1-77086-093-3 $22

[BCBW 2012] "Fiction"