N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: April 3, 1997
Special Convocation: 90th Anniversary Convocation
Discipline / contribution: literature
Citation / biographical information:
Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan in 1951 and received his elementary and secondary education there. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with great distinction in 1971, High Honours in History in 1972 and Master of Arts in History in 1975, all from the University of Saskatchewan. In 1978 he received his Bachelor of Education with great distinction from the University of Regina.Degree received: Doctor of Letters
In 1973 he was Research Officer, Institute for Northern Studies, University of Saskatchewan and from 1974-7, Archival and Library Assistant at the University of Saskatchewan. From 1975- 77 he was a freelance writer and editor and in 1978-79 he taught English and history at Herbert High School in Herbert, Saskatchewan. In 1983-84 he was Writer-in-residence with the Saskatoon Public Library and in 1985 Writer-in-residence, University of Ottawa. He has been a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa (1985-86); Faculty member of the Writing Program of the Banif Centre for the Arts (1990-91); Faculty member in charge of senior fiction students in the SAGE Hills Creative Writing Program (1992) and since 1993 has been Visiting Professor of Creative Writing, Saint Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan.
Mr. Vanderhaeghe’s first recognition as a writer came in 1976 when he won first prize in the Saskatchewan Department of Culture’s Short Story Competition. In 1980 he was awarded the Canadian Fiction Magazine’s Annual Contributo?s Prize and in 1982 he received the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for Man Descending. In 1987 he won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and in 1990 was co-winner of the 1990 City of Toronto Book Award for Homesick In 1991 he received the Western Magazine Award for Fiction for the short story “Home Place” published in Grain and in 1993 the Canadian Authors Association Award for Drama for the play I Hada Job! Liked, Once. In 1996 he was, for the second time, awarded the Governor General’s Award for his novel The Englishman’s Boy which was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize.
Dr. L. Kitzan, who supervised Guy’s Master’s thesis, describes his writing as follows: “1 grew up in a small Saskatchewan town, and have lived most of my life in Saskatoon and am continually impressed by the way Guy has managed to capture the atmosphere and the people of these environments. He presents Saskatchewan to the world in a particularly effective manner which quickly transcends our boundaries, and makes him much more than a “local” writer speaking only to our prairie community In his short stories, his novels, and his plays he shows both his knowledge of and his sympathy for the characters that he reveals to us, but also envelops them with his fine sense of history What he writes, in fact, is history our history and he does this with a gloomy sense of humour that has to become second nature to all of us that live through prairie winters.”
Degree presented by: Laurence Kitzan, Department of History
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