Schroeder, Andreas 1946-
Schroeder, Andreas 1946-
(Andreas Peter Schroeder)
PERSONAL: Born November 26, 1946, in Hoheneggelsen, Germany; immigrated to Canada, 1951; son of Ernst (a carpenter) and Ruth (an organist; maiden name, Bartel) Schroeder; married Sharon Elizabeth Brown (in business management); children: Sabrina Anne, Vanessa. Education: University of British Columbia, B.A., 1969, M.A., 1971. Politics: New Democrat. Religion: Mennonite.
CAREER: Prism International, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, editorial assistant, 1968–69; Contemporary Literature in Translation, Vancouver, founding editor, 1969–79; freelance writer, 1979–. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Maclean-Hunter Chair in Creative Non-Fiction; also member of faculty at University of Victoria, 1975–77; writer-in-residence at the Regina Public Library, 1980–81, University of Winnipeg, 1983–84, Fraser Valley Public Library, 1985, and the University of British Columbia, 1985–87.
Member of board of directors of British Columbia Film Co-Op, 1970–71; founder and chairman of Public Lending Right Commission of Canada, 1985–88; hosted Synapse, a weekly literary television show; contributor to Canadian Broadcasting Company, Inc. (CBC) radio program Basic Black, 1990–2002.
MEMBER: International PEN, Writers Union of Canada (chair, 1976–77), League of Canadian Poets, Canadian Periodical Publishers Association, Periodical Writers Association, Canadian Creative Nonfiction Collective.
AWARDS, HONORS: Canada Council grants, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1984, 1986; Gordon Wood-ward Memorial Award, University of British Columbia, 1969, for short story, "The Past People"; script prize, National Film Board, 1971, for The Late Man; Investigative Journalism Award, Canadian Association of Journalists, 1991.
The Ozone Minotaur (poems), Sono Nis Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1969.
(Editor, with Joel Michael Yates) Contemporary Poetry of British Columbia, Sono Nis Press (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), Volume 1, 1970, Volume 2, 1972.
File of Uncertainties (poems), Sono Nis Press (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), 1971.
(With David Frith) uniVerse (concrete poems), MassAge Press, 1971.
The Late Man (stories), Sono Nis Press (Port Clements, British Columbia, Canada), 1972.
(Editor, with Rudy Wiebe) Stories from Pacific and Arctic Canada, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1974.
(Translator) Collected Stories of Ilse Aichinger, Sono Nis Press (Port Clements, British Columbia, Canada), 1974.
Shaking It Rough: A Prison Memoir, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1976.
(Editor) Words from Inside (anthology), Prison Arts Foundation, 1978.
Toccata in "D" (novel), Oolichan Press (Lantzville, British Columbia, Canada), 1985.
Dust-Ship Glory, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.
(Translator) Christoph Meckel, In the Land of Umbramauts, Nordic Press, 1986.
The Mennonites: A Pictorial History of Their Lives in Canada, Douglas & McIntyre (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1990.
(With Jack Thiessen) The Eleventh Commandment (stories; based on Schroeder's translation from the Mennonite Low-German), Thistledown Press (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1990.
Carved in Wood: The History of Mission, B.C., 1862–1992, D.W. Friesen (Altona, Manitoba, Canada), 1991.
Scams, Scandals, and Skulduggery: A Selection of the World's Most Outrageous Frauds, M & S (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1996.
Cheats, Charlatans, and Chicanery: More Outrageous Tales of Skulduggery, M & S (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
Fakes, Frauds, and Flimflammery: Even More of the World's Most Outrageous Scams, M & S (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
Scams!: Ten Stories that Explore Some of the Most Outrageous Swindlers and Tricksters of All Time, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Thieves! (young adult), Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
Author of weekly column in Vancouver Province, 1968–73; editor of Poetry Canada, 1970–71; literary critic for Vancouver Province-Pacific Press, 1970–73; member of editorial board of Canadian Fiction, 1971–, and Grain, 1989–.
The Plastic Mile, Ruvinsky Productions, 1969.
(And director) Immobile, MassAge Productions, 1969.
(And director) The Pub, MassAge Productions, 1970.
(And director) The Late Man, Odyssey Films, 1973.
ADAPTATIONS: Scams, Scandals, and Skulduggery has been made into an audio book, Library Services Branch, Province of British Columbia, 1997.
SIDELIGHTS: Andreas Schroeder once told CA: "If youth is the time to try everything out, and middle age the time to straighten out the resulting chaos (François de La Rochefoucault), then I have probably reached middle age. Several decades ago I was frantically writing in every genre invented and a few besides, producing radio documentaries (CBC Ideas), directing films (The Late Man, The Pub, Immobile), founding and editing magazines (Contemporary Literature in Translation, Canadian Fiction, Words from Inside), writing weekly literary columns (Vancouver Province), teaching creative writing (University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, etc.) and hosting a weekly literary television show (Synapse). I raced motorcycles, parachuted out of small airplanes, lived with a Bedouin tribe in Baalbek (Lebanon), and served as chair of the Writers Union of Canada (1976–77).
"Today, I concentrate mostly on writing. The motorcycle rusts, the parachute moulders; it's just me and my word processor. Occasionally I forget myself and commit cultural politics (i.e. founding chairman of the Public Lending Right Commission, 1985–88), but then I come back to my senses and return to writing once more. The pursuit of writing seems to require the longest apprenticeship in the world. Maybe that should bother me, but it doesn't.
"I was born to a Mennonite family in West Germany in 1946. We immigrated to Canada in 1951. We were headed for a small town in British Columbia called Mission, which struck my religious parents as portentous. But when we got there we discovered it was merely the station nearest to Abbotsford, where my parents ended up spending two years hoeing corn and beans by hand to pay for their overseas passage. Twenty years later, having forgotten the story, I searched for a mountaintop site to build on and found one in Mission—which is where I, Sharon, and our two daughters Sabrina and Vanessa have settled down. I suppose it's true: I've never liked unfinished business."
Schroeder's work has been published in numerous books, anthologies, and magazines. The author has also produced a number of books about swindling and hoaxes. His interest in the topic grew out of his experience on a CBC radio show called Basic Black, for which Schroeder reported on ingenious frauds, hoaxes, and swindles. His 1996 book, Scams, Scandals, and Skulduggery: A Selection of the World's Most Outrageous Frauds, contains seventeen tales of outlandishly bad behavior in the search for wealth, such as the family who tried to take over part of Arizona based on a land grant supposedly given to them by the king of Spain. A contributor to the Alberta Report wrote: "The inspired thievery recounted in this book is extremely entertaining. It is also, of course, entirely deplorable."
In Scams!: Ten Stories that Explore Some of the Most Outrageous Swindlers and Tricksters of All Time, the author provides tales involving such disparate subjects as P.T. Barnum and the Nazis. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Schroeder turns each 'sting' into a ripping good yarn." Vicki Reutter, writing in the School Library Journal, noted: "Schroeder's page-turning stories are suspenseful as each hoaxer comes closer and closer to getting caught."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 53: Canadian Writers since 1960, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.
Twigg, Alan, Strong Voices, Harbor Publishing (Lake Park, FL), 1990.
Alberta Report (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), July 29, 1996, review of Scams, Scandals, and Skulduggery: A Selection of the World's Most Outrageous Frauds, pp. 38-39.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of Scams!: Ten Stories that Explore Some of the Most Outrageous Swindlers and Tricksters of All Time, p. 541.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Joanna Solomon, review of Scams!, p. 47.
School Library Journal, August, 2004, Vicki Reutter, review of Scams!, p. 144.
Annick Press, http://www.annickpress.com/ (February 27, 2006), brief profile of author.
Writer's Union of Canada, http://www.writersunion.ca/ (February 27, 2006), brief profile of author.