Author(s): Sinclair Ross
oIt's an immense night out there, wheeling and windy. The lights on the street and in the houses against the black wetness, little unilluminating glints that might be painted on it. The town seems huddled together, cowering on a high tiny perch, afraid to move lest it topple into the wind.oThe town is Horizon, the setting of Sinclair Ross' brilliant classic study of life in the Depression era. Hailed by critics as one of Canada's great novels, As For Me and My House takes the form of a journal. The unnamed diarist, one of the most complex and arresting characters in contemporary fiction, explores the bittersweet nature of human relationships, of the unspoken bonds that tie people together, and the undercurrents of feeling that often tear them apart. Her chronicle creates an intense atmosphere, rich with observed detail and natural imagery.As For Me and My House is a landmark work. It is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the scope and power of the Canadian novel.
Sinclair Ross was born on a homestead near Shelbrooke in northern Saskatchewan in 1908. He dropped out of school after grade eleven to work in a bank. After working in many small-town banks in Saskatchewan, he transferred to a bank in Winnipeg in 1933. In 1941 he published his first novel, As For Me and My House, with its evocation of prairie life during the Depression. The prairie is the major setting for his two collections of short fiction, The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories and The Race and Other Stories.From 1942 until 1946 Ross served with the Canadian army in London, England. In 1946 he returned briefly to Winnipeg before settling in Montreal, where he continued in banking until his retirement in 1968.Ross' later novels, The Well, Whir of Gold, and Sawbones Memorial, continue his exploration of prairie life and its power to challenge as well as sustain its inhabitants.Upon his retirement Ross lived in Greece and then in Spain. He returned to Montreal in 1980, and two years later moved to Vancouver.Sinclair Ross died in Vancouver in 1996.