Don Gutteridge was born in Sarnia, Ontario and raised in the nearby village of Point Edward. In 1948 the family moved to the Fourth Line of Sarnia Township and Don attended a one-room country school for grades 6 to 8. (His 1992 novel, Winter’s Descent, focusses on that experience) In 1952 the family moved to Chatham, Ontario, where Don attended Chatham Collegiate Institute. In 1956 he enrolled at Western University and graduated in 1960 with a degree in English Language and Literature. He began to write poetry in earnest there. Upon graduation, Don taught high school English for seven years, continuing to write poetry and an unpublished novel. In 1968 his first book of poetry appeared, Riel: A Poem For Voices. By 1976 he had completed a tetralogy of historical poems and published his first of twenty-two novels, Bus-Ride.
In 1968 he joined Western’s Faculty of Education, where he taught English Methods to prospective High School English teachers for the next twenty-five years, retiring a professor emeritus in 1993. During that time, he continued to publish both poetry and fiction. Of particular note is his twelve-volume series of Marc Edwards mystery novels. He and his wife Anne (now deceased) welcomed two children and six grandchildren. Don’s hobbies were golf, bridge and curling. Even at the age of eighty-two he continues to write poetry. In all he has produced seventy-one books: poetry, fiction and scholarly works in educational theory and practice. He lives in London Ontario
Lily Fairchild is a novel about a remarkable woman, born in the backwoods of Lambton County, Ontario in 1840. Lily’s struggle to survive and grow and discover her place in the scheme of things is complicated not only by the ordinary travail of pioneer living but by the impact of historical events themselves: the railroads and their cutthroat competition, the Riel Rebellions, the First World War and the influenza pandemic of 1918. During her long life Lily witnesses the birth of a nation and the founding and rise of her home village of Point Edward. Lily Fairchild is part history and part fable, replete with historical personages and a bizarre gallery of local characters. It is ultimately a story of survival and loss, about aging and the changes it brings, and about the role of memory itself.
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