Duncan, Jennifer 1967-
DUNCAN, Jennifer 1967-
Born 1967, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Education: York University, B.A.; Concordia University, M.A.; University of Toronto, B.Ed. Hobbies and other interests: "Feminism, visual art, curriculum development, cultural theory, punk culture, and the Yukon."
Agent—Anne McDermid & Associates Ltd., 92 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 1C8, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer and educator. Has taught creative writing in public high schools and art schools in Canada, as well as George Brown College, Concordia University, Ontario College of Art and Design, and University of Toronto. Participant in writing workshops and festivals, including Banff Studio, Vancouver Writers Festival, and Blueprint Festival.
Writers Union of Canada.
Finalist, Toronto Book Award, and finalist, Upper Canada Brewing Company Award for Craft in Fiction, both 2000, both for Sanctuary and Other Stories.
Sanctuary and Other Stories, DC Books (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1999.
Frontier Spirit: The Brave Women of the Klondike, Doubleday (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Matrix, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and Blood & Aphorisms. Book reviewer for NOW, Books in Canada, Quill & Quire and National Post.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A novel set in the Yukon.
Jennifer Duncan, a teacher and a fifth-generation Torontonian, makes frequent forays into outsider territories. After writing a collection of short stories set in the punk scene of the 1980s, she began exploring the wild frontier of the Yukon. When Duncan decided to do a book on the women who participated in the gold rush to the Klondike, she moved to Dawson City and spent a year there doing research. Duncan's personal experience of arctic extremes informs Frontier Spirit: The Brave Women of the Klondike. The book is a history that focuses on eight industrious women who—for a variety of reasons—traveled to the Klondike as part of the prospecting stampede. Duncan describes First Nations guides who led prospectors into the wild, as well as women of all races and every walk of life who sought their fortunes in the gold fields. Although the book offers in-depth profiles of individuals, the author suggests that numerous women participated in the gold rush and that the mythology surrounding the era tends to overlook that fact. Tabatha Southey, writing in the Toronto Globe & Mail, felt that although the book, "indulges in speculation," it is "entertaining as a throwback to … guts-and-glory adventure writing." In Beaver: Exploring Canada's History, a reviewer commended Frontier Spirit as "a celebration of the independent spirit" through character studies that "embody the essence of the Klondike."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Beaver: Exploring Canada's History, February-March, 2004, review of Frontier Spirit: The Brave Women of the Klondike, p. 49.
Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), October 19, 2003, Ken Tingley, "Gold Rush Women," section D, p. 13; November 24, 2003, Marc Horton, "Cheeky Cheechako Honours Klondike Women," section C, p. 5.
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), November 8, 2003, Tabatha Southey, "Prospecting Should Have Yielded More Nuggets," section D, p. 6.
Matrix (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), spring, 2000, review of Sanctuary and Other Stories, p. 41.
National Post (Ontario, Canada), November 15, 2003, "Yukon 'Gold Diggers' Vindicated," Andrea Curtis, section RB, p. 1.
Quill & Quire, September, 2003, review of Frontier Spirit, p. 44.
Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), October 4, 2003, George Fetherling, "Tales of Women Who Moiled for Gold," section D, p. 16; December 20, 2003, George Fetherling, "A Different Bilingualism, and a Yukon Sojourn," section F, p. 20.
Victoria Times-Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), December 28, 2003, review of Frontier Spirit.
Anne McDermid & Associates Ltd.,http://www.mcdermidagency.com/ (October 11, 2004), "Jennifer Duncan."
Writers Union of Canada,http://www.writersunion.ca/ (October 11, 2004), author profile.