Mary Henley Rubio '61 is Finalist for Canada's Top Non-Ficton Award

Mary Henley Rubio '61 is Finalist for Canada's Top Non-Ficton Award

December 12, 2008

rubio_mary_henley.jpgDecember 12, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. — Mary Henley Rubio, author of Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings and 1961 graduate of DePauw University, is a finalist for the 2009 British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.  The BC Award is the only national book prize to originate in British Columbia and is Canada's largest award for non-fiction. The award is presented annually by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established by the Province of B.C. in 2003 to celebrate the arts, humanities, community service and enterprise.

"Although Mary Henley Rubio has spent most of her academic career studying the life and work of Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Gift of Wings is no dry scholarly tome, nor, despite being an authorized biography, is it a flattering portrait of one of Canada's most successful authors," notes the jury's citation. "What we have here is a beautifully written yet unflinching account of Lucy Maud Montgomery's complicated life as a driven, celebrity writer -- but also as the dutiful wife of a chronically depressed clergyman and as the caring mother of two sons, one a doctor and the other an incorrigible ne'er-do-well. Often unhappy, terrified the world would find out about her troubles, Montgomery destroyed private papers in an effort to control her own story. Rubio has uncovered the truth of it and in doing so has only made us admire her subject more."LucyMM Rubio.jpg

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Earlier praise for the book came from Canada's Globe and Mail, which opined, "Rubio deftly paints the portrait of a multitasking modern woman with an amazing work ethic. The biography soars with the energy of its title, but delves even deeper into Montgomery's dark side." Another review, in the Ottawa Citizen, raved, "Absolutely gripping ... nothing short of brilliant, an un-put-downable read, and a wonderful examination of this troubled woman's tragic life."

Rubio is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph. She has spent over two decades researching Montgomery's life, and co-edited The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery (five volumes, 1985-2004), co-authored Writing a Life: L.M. Montgomery, and edited Harvesting Thistles: The Textual Garden of L.M. Montgomery. Further information can be found in this previous story.