Born in Eldoret, Kenya in 1938, Bill Schermbrucker graduated with a major in Latin at the University of Cape Town. He taught at Delamere High School and Prince of Wales School in Nairobi and Alliance High School in Kikuyu before immigrating to Canada, where he obtained a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He was a founding member of Capilano College, North Vancouver, retiring in 2004 to live on Saturna Island, where he continues writing and is president of the Property Owners Association and an officer of the volunteer fire department.

Schermbrucker wrote a fictionalized memoir about his mother in Africa, Mimosa (Talonbooks, 1987), that received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 1988. He was bereft of memories of his mother and knew little about her life, so he decided to overcome "that emotional vacuum produced by my father's forbidding us to attend her funeral, a vacuum which the imagination was bound to fill at some point." The story occurs against the backdrop of events that include the Anglo-Boer Wars, British settlement of Kenya, the Italian incursions into Eritrea during World War II and the bloody Mau-Mau uprisings in Kenya.

Mimosa was preceded by Chameleon and Other Stories (Talonbooks, 1983), also about Schermbrucker's upbringing in Kenya during the time of Mau Mau. A third autobiographical novel, Motortherapy (Talonbooks), appeared in 1993. As an English instructor at Capilano College since it opened, Schermbrucker published The Aims and Strategies of Good Writing and he edited the Capilano Review.

In Bill Schermbrucker's fouth novel Crossing Second Narrows (iUniverse 2013), he uses the North Vancouver bridge as a symbolic link between a white liberal professor at Capilano College, Alistair Randall, and a Marxist professor of colour, Rashid Hassan, at SFU. Their relationship addresses the radical changes in post-secondary education that grew out of the anti-Vietnam War movement and student rebellions at Berkeley, the Sorbonne and elsewhere. Randall was born in Kenya; Hassan was born in India.


Chameleon and Other Stories (Talonbooks, 1983)

Mimosa (Talonbooks, 1987)

Motortherapy (Talonbooks 1993)

Crossing Second Narrows (iUniverse 2013)
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 356 pages | ISBN 9781475964912
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 356 pages | ISBN 9781475964905
E-Book | 356 pages | ISBN 9781475964929
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 356 pages | ISBN 9781475964912
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 356 pages | ISBN 9781475964905
$20.95 - Paperback
$30.95 - Hardcover
$3.99 - Ebook

[BCBW 2013] "Fiction" "Africa"