As fiction writers, we shape stories. We explore metaphor, manipulate images and symbols. We think and rethink words – all in the hope of building a bridge, through mere words, across time and space, to meet an invisible reader. Writing fiction is elusive, demanding, paradoxical work. Using language, it seeks to illumine realities beyond language. It requires a peculiar faith. Can such an effort suggest something about the larger task of sustaining faith today? What does it mean to create in a world that often feels enamoured of death? Writers cast words into darkness, hoping they may carry light. How does religious background affect the imagination of such a writer?
Ann Copeland was born in the states and educated entirely in parochial schools. In 1954, she entered the Ursuline Order and earned her M.A. in English from Catholic University. After teaching for several years, she attended Cornell University for her Ph.D., and eventually left the Ursuline Order and married. Copeland began fiction writing after coming to Canada in 1971, working through material connected with her years as a nun. The resulting collection, "At Peace" (1978), received excellent reviews. Since then, she has written four more collections, including "The Golden Thread", which was nominated for a governor General’s Award in 1990. Her most recent work, "Strange Bodies on a Strange Shore", appeared in 1994