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Fictional houses and the visual imagination topic of Pratt Lecture


Jane Urquhart

 

By Janet Harron

Award-winning novelist Jane Urquhart will deliver Memorial University's 43rd annual Pratt Lecture on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Her lecture is entitled Inner Lives: Fiction and the Visual Imagination.
The winner of both the Trillium and Governor General's Award will talk about houses and interiors in fiction, how they are seen first by the writer and then by the reader in the visual imagination.

The author of seven novels, a collection of short fiction and four books of poetry, Jane Urquhart has received many awards, among them the Trillium Award and the Governor General's Award; she has also been shortlisted for the Giller and Orange Awards. Her latest novel is Sanctuary Line (McClelland & Stewart, 2010).

No stranger to Newfoundland or Memorial, Ms. Urquhart was writer-in-residence in 1992. While here, she became interested in Rockwell Kent's home in Brigus, remembers Professor Mary Dalton.

"Jane Urquhart's work, from its earliest beginnings, has reflected her fascination with houses, both in and of themselves and for the lives lived in them, the history they hold within. In this respect she is kin to certain of the great Victorian novelists," said Prof. Dalton, who believes Urquhart's interest in Kent's home manifested itself in her novel The Underpainter.

These days Jane Urquhart moves among houses in St. John's, Ireland and southwestern Ontario, the latter a house which is rich with her own family's history.

The lecture begins at 8 p.m. in the Reid Theatre, Arts and Administration Building, on the St. John's campus. Admission is free and parking will be available in lot 15B.

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