Jack Hodgins

Spit Delaney's Island

The Invention
of the World

The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne

The Barclay Family Theatre

The Honorary Patron

Left Behind in
Squabble Bay

Innocent Cities

Over Forty in
Broken Hill

A Passion for Narrative

The Macken Charm

Broken Ground


Damage Done
by the Storm

The Master of Happy Endings

Other Publications

Jack Hodgins - Biography  


Jack Hodgins

Novelist and short story writer Jack Hodgins lives on southern Vancouver Island. Raised in the small rural community of Merville in the Comox Valley, he graduated with a B.Ed from the University of British Columbia, and taught high school in Nanaimo between 1961 and 1981. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa between 1981 and 1983. Between 1983 and 2002 he taught in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria, and was a full professor at the time of his retiring. He occasionally conducts fiction-writing workshops, including an annual workshop in Mallorca, Spain. He and his wife Dianne, a former teacher, live in Cadboro Bay within easy visiting distance of their three adult children and their grandchildren.

Jack Hodgins's fiction has won the Governor General's Award, the President's Medal from the University of Western Ontario, the Gibson's First Novel Award, the Eaton's B.C. Book Award, the Commonwealth Literature Prize (regional), the CNIB Torgi award, the Canada-Australia Prize, the Drummer General's Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Victoria City Butler Prize. He is the 2006 recipient of the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award "for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia" and the "Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence." In 2010 the Governor General appointed him to the Order of Canada. In 2011 The Comox Valley "Walk of Achievement" committee honoured him with a ceremony and a plaque in the main street sidewalk of Courtenay, his home town.

Saskatchewan, circa 1980, photo by Garth Cantrill

His books include: Spit Delaney's Island (stories), The Invention of the World (novel), The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne (novel), The Barclay Family Theatre (stories), Left Behind in Squabble Bay (children's novel), The Honorary Patron (novel), Innocent Cities (novel), Over Forty in Broken Hill (travel), A Passion for Narrative (a guide to writing fiction), The Macken Charm, (novel), Broken Ground (novel), Distance (novel), Damage Done by the Storm (stories), The Master of Happy Endings (novel), and Cadillac Cathedral (novel). Short stories and articles have been published in several magazines in Canada, France, Australia, and the US.

Jack Hodgins has given readings or talks at international literary festivals and other events in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the US. Some of the short stories have been televised or adapted for radio and the stage. A few of the stories and novels have been translated into other languages, including Dutch, Hungarian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Norwegian. In 1985 a film of the story "The Concert Stages of Europe," directed by Giles Walker, was produced by Atlantis Films and the National Film Board of Canada. In 2001 the Victoria Conversatory of Music produced a commissioned opera Eyes on the Mountain by composer Christopher Donason, based upon three of Hodgins's short stories intertwined. Burning Bridge Entertainment has produced a film adaptation of the story "Promise" (from Damage Done by the Storm).

A number of scholars in Canada and Europe have published critical studies on his work. He has been the subject of a National Film Board film, Jack Hodgins' Island, and a book, Jack Hodgins and His Work, by David Jeffrey. In 1996, Oolichan Press published a collection of essays on his work, titled On Coasts of Eternity, edited by J. R. (Tim) Struthers. A book of essays on Hodgins's work, edited by Annika Hannan, has been published by Guernica Press, Toronto. His manuscripts, papers, letters and other materials are held in the literary manuscripts archives at the National Library of Canada

In 1990, as part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the University of British Columbia's Alumni Society included him amongst the "75 most distinguished graduates" to be honoured with a plaque. In June of 1995, the University of B.C. awarded him an honorary D.Litt for - according to the UBC Chronicle - bringing "renown to the university and the province as one of Canada's finest fiction writers and as an innovative stylist and distinguished academic." In the spring of 1998 he received an honorary D.Litt from Malaspina University-College. In 1999 he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. In 2004 he received an honorary D.Litt from the University of Victoria.

In 1996 Jack Hodgins was one of ten Canadian writers invited by the French Minister of Culture to be honoured at Les Belles Etrangeres festival in Paris. In June of 1997 he taught a fiction workshop in Marburg, Germany. He has been a guest at an academic conference on Literatures of the Islands at the University of Strasbourg, France, and a guest of the Nordic Association of Canadian Studies in Turku, Finland. In June of 2000 he was keynote speaker at a conference of Australian teachers of writing, hosted by Griffiths University in Surfers Paradise, Queensland. He has occasionally taught a writing workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and does some private editing and/or critiquing of manuscripts.


Childhood Farm,
Nurmi Road

Jack Hodgins is the eldest of the three children of Stanley and Reta (Blakely) Hodgins, descendants of settlers (mostly Irish) in Ontario and Alberta.

The character named Dr. Jack Hodgins on the Fox Network series "Bones" was created by Hart Hanson, a friend of the novelist, and is played by the actor T.J. Thyne. Though the fictional "bug doctor" has little in common with the real-life "novelist and short story writer" of the same name, the two have met and are happy to share the name.


Click here for a 2007 interview with Jack Hodgins.
(from an online discussion hosted by Gail Anderson-Dargatz).

In January 2014 he narrated a performance version of Cadillac Cathedral with the Chor Leoni Men's Choir, onstage in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo.


Copyright © Jack Hodgins 2006