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Bernice Friesen

Bernice Friesen

Photo: R. Cain

BERNICE FRIESEN grew up in a family of dyslexics, inventors and other divergent minds. Though she began creative life as a visual artist, her books include The Seasons Are Horses, Sex, Death, and Naked Men, and her first novel, The Book of Beasts. It was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust of Canada Fiction Award, was a Globe and Mail’s top 100, and won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction. Her most recent novel, Universal Disorder, came out with Freehand in 2020.

Now, if she works with her hands, its usually wearable art incorporating leather, pipe-fittings and other junk. People often ask her about them—or are afraid to ask her about them.

The curious may look at

British Columbia


The Seasons Are Horses. 1995, Thistledown Press
Sex, Death, and Naked Men. 1998, Coteau Books
The Book of Beasts. 2007, Coteau Books
Les Destiare des Anges, French translation of The Book of Beasts. 2011, Quebec Amerique
Universal Disorder. 2020, Freehand Books


Saskatchewan Arts Board C Grant for for Research on The Book of Beasts, 1994
Vicky Metcalf Award for Best Young Adult Short Story in Canada for For title story from "The Seasons Are Horses", 1996
Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction for The Book of Beasts, 2007
Shortlisted, Roger's Writers Trust Fiction Award for The Book of Beasts, 2007
Saskatchewan Arts Board Mid-career Grant for Manuscript "The Christinas", 2008
Saskachewan Arts Board Grant for Universal Disorder, 2011
Canada Council Grant for Universal Disorder, 2015
Finalist in two CBC Literary awards (poetry and non-fiction) and finalist in two League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Contests for 1999 and 1997 League of Canadian Poets Anthologies, From 1996 to 1999
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: