Fonds MsC-94 - Bill Gaston fonds

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Bill Gaston fonds

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  • Textual records
  • Graphic materials
  • Photographic materials
  • Moving images

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  • 1981-2008 (Creation)
    Gaston, Bill

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Physical description

4.3 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Bill Gaston was born in 1953 in Flin Flon, Manitoba and has lived in a number of cities across Canada, including Winnipeg, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Fredericton. He studied at the University of British Columbia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (1975), a Master of Arts (1978), and a Master of Fine Arts (1981). As a young man, he worked as a logger, fishing guide, and, briefly, as a professional hockey player in France. He has taught English and Creative Writing at Canadian universities including the University of British Columbia (1982-1984), Seneca College (1986-1987), Mount Saint Vincent University (1988-1990), Saint Marys University (1988-1990) and the University of New Brunswick (1991-1996), where he served as director of the creative writing program and editor of the literary journal The Fiddlehead. In 1998, he began teaching in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria. Gaston is the author of several celebrated novels, including Tall Lives (1990),The Cameraman (1994; rev. ed. 2002), Bella Combe Journal (1996), The Good Body (2000), Sointula (2004), and The Order of Good Cheer (2008). His one work of non-fiction, published in 2006, is entitled Midnight Hockey: All About Beer, the Boys and the Real Canadian Game. He published his first collection of short fiction, Deep Cove Stories, in 1989, and has since written several othercollections: North of Jesus Beans (1993), Sex is Red (1998), Mount Appetite (2002), and Gargoyles (2006). A number of his stories have been read on CBC Radio and the CBC has commissioned screenplay adaptations by Gaston of two of his stories, Saving Eves Father and The New Brunswicker. Gaston has also authored the plays Yardsale, Ethnic Cleansing, and I am Danielle Steel, and a collection of poetry, Inviting Blindness (1995), which was originally his thesis for his Master of Fine Arts. In 1999, Gaston was given the Canadian Literary Award for Fiction for his short story Where it Comes From, Where it Goes. He was nominated in 2002 for both the Giller Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for Mount Appetite. In 2003, he won the inaugural Timothy Findley Award, given to a male Canadian writer in mid-career. In 2004, he received a ReLit Award and a second Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize nomination for his novel Sointula. He was awarded the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and a second ReLit Award for his collection of short stories, Gargoyles, which was also nominated for the Governor Generals Award for Fiction in 2006. Gaston lives on Vancouver Island with his wife, writer Dede Crane. Gaston and Crane have four children: Lise, Connor, Vaughn, and Lilli.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists mainly of items related to Gaston's writing activities dating from 1981. It includes hand-written and word-processed correspondence between Gaston and friends, editors, publishers, and other writers; galley copies, published copies, manuscripts and drafts of unpublished and published books, articles, short stories, plays, radio plays, reviews, and poems; clippings and photocopies of reviews of Gaston's work; pen and ink drawings by Gaston; author photographs, contact sheets, and negatives; miscellaneous notes by Gaston on his work, thoughts, and readings; notes and memos related to Gaston's work as a teacher; an address book; a VHS video tape; promotional materials for Gaston's books and public appearances at readings and festivals; and ephemera such as tourism brochures.

The materials were received from the creator in two accessions. The first accession consisted of 12 boxes containing records of Gaston's work and writing from 1981 to 2005, including materials relating to all his published works up to Sointula (2004). The second consisted of five boxes containing materials relating mostly to the period from 2006 to 2008, covering the creation and publication of Midnight Hockey (2006), Gargoyles (2006), and The Order of Good Cheer (2008). The creator had arranged the materials in the fonds generally by individual work, and this arrangement has been maintained. Original file titles, where available, have also been retained. The fonds has been divided into 8 series: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2. Writing; Series 3. Promotion, reviews, awards and honours; Series 4. Biographical information and photos; Series 5. Professional activities and teaching; Series 6. Screenplay adaptation of Sointula; Series 7. Ephemera; Series 8. Books

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Alpha-numeric designations

BCAUL control number: SFL--2310

Physical description

Includes 75 pen and ink drawings, 32 books, 10 b&w photographs, 7 strips of b&w negatives, 5 colour photos, 8 postcards, 3 nametags, 2 posters, 1 map, 1 address book, 1 b&w contact sheet and 1 VHS video tape.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created May 12, 2014 LZ

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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