About the Author

Short Biography

I learned to love the act of writing when I was six and in Grade 1, I loved the shapes of the cursive letters, the look of an entire line of m's or o's or t's all crossed, hey, this is fun, I thought, but learning to say something true or beautiful has taken some 50 years of going to school, reading books, learning to love someone else, making a home fit for children, all five, playing the piano, learning music, reading more books, teaching others to play the piano, learning the art of choral singing, making music with singers and players of instruments, going to school again, reading more books, learning language, English, French, translating one into the other, seeing those beautiful letters again, beautiful letters now making beautiful words, beautiful words making lavishly beautiful sentences aching to be shaped into stories, hey, this is fun, I thought again, and this is what it's come to, learning again the act of writing, learning to make it true and beautiful.

Long Biography

Bernadette Griffin PortraitI was born in Quebec City. At age nineteen, I left my birthplace to go to St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Montreal. After graduating I worked as a bedside nurse at the Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec City, then as a clinical instructor at St. Mary's Hospital in Montreal. A year later, I left nursing behind to raise a family and be with my children.

While caring for my children, I completed the piano studies I had begun as a child, obtained an A.R.C.T. diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, and opened a studio in my own home. I also studied voice, choral conducting and orchestral conducting.

After conducting a 60-voice choir at Holy Family Church for five years, I founded, with my husband, the Donovan Chorale, a concert choir in Montreal, dedicated to the performance of the a capella repertoire as well as the choral masterworks. A few years later, I founded Les Chanteurs d'Orphée de Montréal, a chamber ensemble, dedicated to the performance of contemporary works. Both ensembles were prize-winners, garnering critical acclaim locally and nationally, with many of our performances aired on CBC radio and Radio-Canada.

In 1985, I left my music career behind and completed a B.A. in Languages and Translation at Concordia University. Since 1990, I have worked as a freelance translator, specializing in the medical field. In recent years, I have also published several essays, feature articles and poems. And in 2007, I published my first book, a fictionalized memoir of my growing-up years in Quebec City.

In 2013, I published my first novel.

I live with my husband, John Donovan, in Montreal in winter, and we spend the extended summer months on the Kingston Peninsula in New Brunswick, in the company of visiting children and grandchildren.