Timothy Findley - Author

Timothy Findley is one of Canada’s most compelling and best loved writers.   He was a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award, recipient of many accolades for his fiction, non-fiction and drama, including the Chalmers Award and the Edgar Award.  He was an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.   He died in France in 2002 at age 71.

PILGRIM was one of Findley’s last acclaimed novels, a national best-seller and was short-listed for the Giller Prize.   It is a fiercely original and powerful story.  Published in 1999 originally in English, PILGRIM has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Bulgarian.


Toronto-born Timothy Findley looked forward in life through an artist's eyes-his own and others'- from the time reading eased his boyhood convalescences. The beauty of dance drew teenaged Findley to the stage; then Stratford Festival's early ferment led him to study drama in Britain. There, playwright Thornton Wilder and fellow actor Ruth Gordon discovered his literary talent. Gordon offered to cover Findley's expenses for a year if he would dedicate himself to writing.

Findley left acting in 1962 and had two early novels accepted for publication in England. His third, The Wars, (1977) established him as a major writer and brought him the Governor General's Award for fiction. By the time of his death in 2002, Findley had achieved "international acclaim as a master storyteller" ( CBC) in other genres as well as with short stories, novellas and novels.
  • With his life partner, screenwriter Bill Whitehead, Findley scripted the ACTRA Award-winning TV dramas The Whiteoaks of Jalna and The National Dream.
  • Findley won a second Governor General's Award for his play Elizabeth Rex, which premiered in Stratford before opening in England in 2002.
"Tiff" Findley became known for his reciprocal willingness to recognize and encourage emerging artists, champion the arts and confront issues of artistic and political freedom. He helped to found the Writers' Union of Canada and served as the president of the Canadian chapter of International PEN.

See his obituary by CBC.