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Joan Haggerty

Photo: Dany Couture 2015

Joan Haggerty was born in 1940 and raised in Vancouver, B.C.  From 1962 to 1972 she lived and wrote in London, England; Formentera, Spain; and New York City.  Returning to the B.C. coast, she made her home in Roberts Creek and Vancouver where she taught in the Creative Writing Dept. at U. B.C. She began a second career as a high school teacher in the Bulkley Valley in 1990.

Her novel, The Dancehall Years, was published by Mother Tongue Publishing Ltd. in June, 2016. Her previous books are Please, Miss, Can I Play God?, Daughters of the Moon, and The Invitation which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1994.

About Joan Haggerty’s books:

The Dancehall Years

Fluidity, sensuality, a dreamlike quality, and factual reality are not usually possible in one novel. Here, miraculously, they blend in an intricate and intimate geography of time and place, people and personal mythologies in a gorgeously rendered novel.

Vancouver Sun, 2016.

The Invitation

It’s exciting to find a book so moving, sensual and compelling that getting to the end of it is both urgent and dreaded.

starred review in Quill and Quire, 1994.

The Invitation is one of the most generous and empathetic memoirs to come out in years.

The Georgia Straight, 1994.

The circumstances surrounding her decision to give up her child were remarkable, as is The Invitation, her account of the events that culminate in a reunion with Sean.

The Globe and Mail, 1994.

Daughters of the Moon.

Joan Haggerty is such a strong writer, so personal—with such prose.  She’ll be read with appreciation for her talent, of course, but also for the fact that she always writes about what moves and hurts people.

John Irving.

….a terrifying flight of the creative imagination—at once incredible and nightmarishly true.

Phyllis Webb.

An adventure novel about childbirth set forth as hazardous and bloody, rhythmic and full and holy…written with a lot of intelligence and skill and a strong, vital female identity.

Marge Piercy.

Please, Miss, Can I Play God?

A book to trap any teacher who reads it into the same splendid, difficult, important heresies.

The Listener.

Readings and Launches:

Joan Haggerty has read from and launched her books at The Hotel Pierre in New York City, A Space in Toronto, The Literary Storefront and The Western Front in Vancouver, Women and Words/ Les Femmes et Les Mots at Concordia University, Montreal etc.

Her work has been published and excerpted in periodicals such as The Capilano Review, Herizons, The B.C. Monthly, McCalls Magazine and Ms. Magazine.     

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


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